Growing a business and sustaining that growth is both exciting and scary. The smaller the business, the more impacted they are by growing pains. Take technology, for example. More users equate technology to more help desk tickets, greater email maintenance and additional security concerns. The amount of technical expertise your small IT team requires continues to expand. Without the right IT solution, it’s practically impossible to be strategic and keep up with growth momentum.
Ask these 3 questions to help you determine if IT growing pains are keeping you from being strategic:
Does your internal IT staff spend all their time “keeping the lights on?” With a small IT staff, the focus is on daily activities. There is less focus on strategic projects. Tasks such as patching servers, general server maintenance and in-house email support take up most of the day. As users are added, more help desk tickets stretch your internal team too thin.
The solution: Outsource areas where specialty knowledge is abundant and implementation doesn’t require in-depth knowledge of your business. For example, email maintenance has become a simple commodity solution. Migrating to a product like Office 365 takes the busy support work off your internal IT team’s shoulders. It’s easier to maintain, has a better cost curve and a built-in disaster recovery system. Your team can then focus on business specific processes needed to support your growth.
Do you struggle with specialized IT tasks, like database or mobile device management? Most internal resources typically don’t have the type of knowledge or expertise required to specialize in all the latest available tools. Rarely would a small business have enough full-time work to keep a database manager on staff, for instance. It usually isn’t worth finding, hiring and keeping that level of expertise for a short-term project or a new software implementation.
The solution: Augment your staff with an expert from outside the organization. This gives you the ability to grow without hiring an expensive resource until you know whether you need it. Options such as Database Administration services and Flex CIO services give you access to specialized technology administrators and executives that can build a database management strategy, kick start mobile device management or help your staff with long-term technology roadmaps.
Do your key applications lack the ability to share data effectively? There is so much customer information collected on a daily basis. Your staff inputs the same or similar data in multiple systems, yet staff in the field can’t easily find customer data, or complex processes exist because these systems are not integrated well. Your internal IT team would love to help, but time is scarce and customization is costly.
The solution: Integrate your applications with Microsoft PowerApps and Microsoft Flow. These two solutions allow any user with basic logic experience to create small mobile applications that move data seamlessly between systems. Workflow is immediately improved and basic integration between multiple applications is automated.
Are growing pains holding you back from your true strategic initiatives? Contact us below to see what scaling options would work for your company.