Starting and scaling a small business has always been considered a challenge, but building a solid foundation of smooth IT practices underlying your company can make things much easier. Failure to adopt a decent IT infrastructure can not only create holes in your operations, but also leave your company open to datacenter crashes and cyber attacks.
Therefore, small businesses can take steps towards standard IT operations by leveraging auto-upgrade tools available on most applications, operating systems and computers. However, these upgrades can be complicated, and come with a price tag. Budget concerns often lead small businesses to think that IT is a luxury that they can’t afford.
Yet, every company can incorporate IT in one way or another without breaking the bank. Here are three things you need to know about IT upgrades and availability:
The cloud is becoming essential
For the purpose of scaling IT needs and paying according to business requirements, cloud services are becoming essential for small business owners. They let you store document and data online, and cloud companies keep your information secure while letting you and your employees to access data from any computer or device, and from any location.
The cloud can also be used to collaborate with employees and work on tasks with contractors or partners. Also, businesses with in-house IT teams can use cloud storage to host their custom applications and create different access areas for different departments or team members.
Enterprise licenses are needed
Many small business owners fail to understand the differences between retail, OEM, and open license software solutions. However, manufacturers continue to become aggressive in product activation technologies to restrict licenses, and they even prosecute those who breach terms and conditions. That said, businesses need to understand that they do not ‘own’ third-party software, since applications are licensed.
So it is essential for the IT department to ensure that all programs, software and applications are properly licensed. While some software programs are configured by default to report usage to the creator, piracy has become almost impossible. But still businesses can become a victim for different reasons, like when a malicious employee attempts overuse or piracy. Businesses can prevent against penalties and errors by documenting all license purchases and deployments.
Automation is key
Automation is becoming a necessity to demonstrate a strong return-on-investment. For small businesses, there are low-cost automation tools available that enable employees, management, and C-level executives to automate processes such as company emails, task management, application development, and more.
Administrators may shy away from automation tools for a variety of reasons, the main one being making jobs obsolete. However, automation has been found to simply IT processes and create more employment within companies.
What else can be done?
When businesses face shortage of resources or when operations become a burden on the IT department, companies can transfer the burden of IT operations to an external solution provider. IT services in Ottawa and other cities throughout Canada provide technical assistance to maintain, assess and improve their clients’ IT infrastructure. As a result, managed IT service providers oversee ongoing maintenance as well as critical monitoring for specialized IT operations.
Core business operations may be interfered with by IT operations without a technical support team. Therefore, it is essential for small companies to consider outsourcing IT operations to professional managed service providers.