How can IT consultancy help business growth?
IT Consultancy is the proactive element of IT Support, and is essential for any business that wants to transition to the next level.
As with all business growth, problems become bigger and broader, requiring greater expertise. IT is a vital element of many businesses these days, particularly as they grow. Using IT Consultancy will help to combat problems before they occur and enable healthier and steadier growth.
Problems arise when businesses assume they can ‘do’ their IT themselves. Of course, a fledgling business, with an Owner/Manager, will do as much as they can with as little expense as possible. This may mean DIY IT, or using a one-man-band to bail them out from time to time. But as teams grow and business structure becomes complex, so IT requirements and potential problems become far greater. That said, get the right processes and procedures in place as early as possible and the business will grow with greater ease.
Here we give examples of the types of business IT decisions that would help from the very beginning of a business, but wherever you are on your business journey they are activities that you should start today!
Business grade kit
When you purchase that initial piece of IT kit, try and ensure you buy ‘business grade’ kit – kit that is designed to be used consistently throughout the working day. Make a note of the warranty dates so that you can budget to renew the kit in advance of warranty expiration (kit in warranty will be fixed and/or replaced quickly and will be able to cope with the latest software advances and security updates).
Backup properly from the start
Use a backup system that is secure and suitable for expansion. As each team member joins ensure the backups work wherever they are (if you’re embracing the hybrid-working model make sure backups are always operational).
Businesses of all sizes suffer security breaches
The media generally only publicise the ‘biggies’ as they’re deemed more newsworthy. However, a breach to your business will feel newsworthy to you, so don’t let it happen. Cover your business in layers of IT security and continually ensure that you’re on top of this – cyber criminals are clever – you need to be cleverer. This includes instilling a respect for IT security within each new team member as they arrive, and continuing the educational process surrounding IT security for all staff.
Develop policies and procedures for best business practice
Even as a sole trader these are useful, particularly where expansion is planned. Start as you mean to go on by developing efficient processes, documenting them and forming policies surrounding them. Of course, these will need to be tweaked as time goes on, but you’ll be in a better position to onboard staff with ease. As an example, make sure you have a Password Policy in place to ensure good practice – adhering to this as a sole trader, rather than muddling by, will allow you to easily introduce the concept to new starters.
Have IT support in place that you can rely on
This means using an established business with a good reputation. This will allow you to access support when you need it. Additionally, you should expect IT Consultancy to be part of the service. If you’re not an expert in IT how can you expect to make educated decisions without receiving good advice? IT Consultants will help you to be proactive with IT, avoiding emergencies and ensuring you have everything in place for sustainable and efficient growth. IT Consultants will evaluate your systems and processes, helping you establish good practice.
Each business is unique, with specific aspirations for growth. One size does not fit all. Googling IT solutions will give generic responses – and you don’t know, what you don’t know. IT Consultancy will help to fill your knowledge gaps. A little regular time spent with an IT Consultant, evaluating and planning IT, will save time in the long run. Your business will also be in a much healthier position for growth.