Every business relies on IT in one form or another. Every business is also different and has unique IT needs.
If you don’t have an IT background it can be hard to determine what the essential business applications and requirements are for your individual organisation and this is where researching and talking to IT professionals can help.
When you are trying to identify your IT needs here are a few things you might want to consider:
Storage and backups. It’s important to have a secure and regular backup service for your data. The exact type of backup system and how you prefer to store your files will depend on the size of your organisation. There are plenty of excellent cloud storage solutions available which your service provider can discuss with you.
Security. Security is essential to protect the integrity of your information and keep your network free from viruses and other malicious software. Organisations which collect sensitive information about their customers or who deal with financial transactions online will have different security needs to those who don’t.
Networks and access. With many organisations providing work from home options or employing remote workers, the ability to access essential software platforms and systems remotely from a number of devices is becoming more in demand. It’s worth considering whether your business would benefit from a single point of access or cloud solution where employees can log in remotely from their smart phone or tablet.
Infrastructure and future growth. When planning your current IT needs don’t forget to think about the future. If your demand for IT services fluctuates or you are expecting rapid growth in the future it may be worth considering setting up your IT infrastructure so that it can be flexible and cope with an increase or decrease in demand. IT issues can seriously stifle business growth if they are unable to keep up with changing needs.
Software. Consider what software platforms your employees need to enable them to do their jobs effectively. Do you need the latest versions and are your licences all up to date?
Hardware. It’s important to make sure that your IT hardware is regularly maintained and updated when required. If you opt for services such as remote desktop hosting there may be less requirement for hardware and this is something that should be taken into consideration.
There are plenty of IT services around which offer a wide range of different options tailored at businesses of all shapes and sizes. If you don’t know where to start or want advice on your business IT requirements, you can try chatting to service providers, IT savvy individuals in your network and ask your current service provider (if you have one) for a review each year.
On an ongoing basis, make sure that your organisation’s IT requirements are featured in your business plan each year and try to align yourself with IT service providers who share the same values as your organisation. Finding an IT provider that understands your business and can tailor a solution to fit the needs and specifics of your organisation can help keep your business moving forward well into the future.