IT: What To Know Before You Grow

2018-09-29T14:59:42+00:00By |Uncategorized|

Your business is growing?  Great.  That’s always a good thing, right?

It is- until you suddenly find that the work you’ve got on your plate has gone beyond your capacity to perform it.

Even boom periods create challenges for upcoming companies.  You may suddenly find you need more people, more equipment, and more space to handle that welcome upward trend.  But apart from investing in laptops or workstations for new personnel, many companies don’t factor in the need for new technology, until the point that they abruptly learn that they need it.

The truth is that company can outgrow its tecnology infrastructure in the same way it outgrows its physical premises. What was “just right” for a five-person shop is unlikely to be adequate for fifty, let alone five hundred. While you may be able to get by with a too-small office for a while by having people work at home and by holding meetings at the coffee shop, you’re not likely to be able to do anything similar with IT: There comes a point where too small is just too small.

All that data that new business and new employees generate has to go somewhere, and it has to be able to get there efficiently and securely. When your company grows past the capacity of its existing IT infrastructure, it can pose some big problems – especially if you haven’t made a plan to strategically expand your capacity and capabilities. The good news is that these problems are easily handled before they happen, so long as you know what your IT “moving parts” are and plan appropriately.

We’ve noticed a few common pain points that it’s easy for growing companies to overlook:

  • Storage Capacity: Like I said, all that data has to go somewhere, and when you run out of space, you run out of luck.
  • Server Capacity: More data and more users means greater demands upon your server. When speeds slow to a crawl, productivity follows suit.
  • Network Capacity. Every new connection means there’s one more person demanding their share of a limited resource – and slowing down speed and performance.
  • Reporting Capability. All of a sudden that daily report that used to take five minutes to run is taking five hours – and stalling your other server-side applications.
  • Security. More connections mean more points of vulnerability and hazard, particularly in a mobile-enabled workplace.
  • Interoperability. Just as people working together usually need to speak the same language, machines do too. Compatibility can be a big issue: What does an office with a wired network do when new laptops arrive without Ethernet ports?

Growth is good – but smart growth is even better, particularly when IT needs are considered. A little planning goes a long way towards reducing growing pains; in future articles I’ll share some insights I’ve gained, and try to make your next growth spurt hassle-free.

 

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About the Author:

Red Level's Vice President, Small Business Consulting