“usiness scalability is unrelentingly on the mind of every business executive and company strategist. Being prepared to expand IT infrastructure is key for every company, whether they are a 25-user business, or a 100-user corporation,” explains Scott Hamlin, Vice President and General Manager of the Aldridge Seattle branch.
It’s one thing to establish a workable IT support solution for today, but if tomorrow’s innovations and sales growth continue to expand your company, you might quickly find that you’ve outgrown that once-perfect IT support system. A disturbing number of executives fail to realize that their IT infrastructure must be configured in a way that is easily scalable.
However, creating a scalable system doesn’t happen overnight. If your IT support team is setting you up with a scalable system, they should be asking you to explain the company’s goals, where you plan to be in the next several years, and what types of new and continuing capabilities your users’ systems will need to provide for them.
If your IT support team isn’t focused on planning for expansion, then it might be time for a change. Take a look at these 5 keys to business IT scaling and decide for yourself.
1. Embrace cloud-based services
Cloud services are built to be scalable. The structure of a cloud system can be easily modified, and more space can quickly be added. As an additional benefit, cloud-based IT systems are also readily accessed remotely by both employees and executives. Cloud computing is cutting-edge, and even mid-sized companies are jumping on the bandwagon. They’ve realized the incredible benefits of cloud solutions that don’t require rooms of servers and hoards of hardware.
2. Configure server structure to allow for additional capacity
If you have one main server that serves as the main location for network traffic, continually increasing traffic and use on that particular server will eventually overwhelm your system and decrease the speed and usability of your systems. Building your data systems around that one particular server creates a single source of potential failure – if that server goes, you lose everything, and your business operations are down until that server function is restored.
Scaling properly involves strategically configuring your server and network infrastructure so that your systems will run smoothly and be protected from any potential network failures.
3. Establish Deadline for Necessary Upgrades
Every IT support team has run into problems with incompatible hardware. The company wants to upgrade to Server 2012 or Office 2013, only to be told by their IT team that their server system won’t support those programs. It’s important to make sure that upgrades happen comprehensively so that each piece of the IT puzzle is up to date. An IT support team that is focused on future scalability will have schedules and deadlines to retire old systems in preparation for the new and improved technology that will help the business function optimally.
4. Document All of Your Processes and Changes
Systems regularly change, and it’s important to know what kinds of updates and configurations are in place so that you’re prepared to iterate and optimize down the road. Without clear documentation, a lot of time can be spent relearning how certain processes function and how the structure of your IT support system is configured.
Your IT support team should keep a clear record of what kinds of changes have been made, what systems are in place now, how those systems are faring, any errors that are occurring, and how those errors are being fixed.
5. Implement A Clear Workflow
In order to know where you’re going, you have to know where you’ve been. Then, you use where you’ve been to determine how to move forward. As you grow, the business operations will need to change with you. Build a workflow list of future upgrades, modifications that should be made down the road, plans for expansion, or new hardware to implement once the business has reached a certain operational threshold.
More growth = more sales = more deliverables = more product shipments = more system usage = more emails and correspondence = need for upgraded programs for better user experience = more demands on an IT infrastructure.
Your IT team should be prepared for these changes down the road and create a plan in anticipation of what they’ll need to support the company’s future expansion. Clear workflow streams and shared knowledge bases can greatly reduce problems and increase the efficiency of the system as a whole.
At Aldridge, we understand what all of these key strategies mean for your business. We can have conversations with you, analyze your current IT support setup, and make recommendations for how we can move forward. Furthermore, one of the conversations that we have with our potential clients is a discovery process during which we assess where their business is headed. Then, we further discuss how we can help align their IT support needs with those business goals.
It’s important to be prepared for future business scaling, and Aldridge IT Outsourcing can help you shoot for the moon. We can provide your business with ever scalable IT support.