When Does My Startup Need to Get IT Support?
So, when is the right time to get technical support? Well, that all depends on when your company is ready to grow.
The Importance of IT Support For Growth
The best time to start seriously considering technical support is when your business gets to the point that you want to scale your operations.
Technical support will play an integral role in how your startup grows. You need to have your key systems in place before you start to scale. Investing in IT is like investing in your company’s future. By establishing, early on, the complex systems and processes your company runs on, your infrastructure can grow with you.
Not only will they help smooth things over during this crucial time in your company’s history, but it will save you from a slew of issues in the future.
Timing Is Everything
Before you create a wanted ad for an IT person, consider the needs of your company and the costs associated with scaling. Expanding is not cheap. Furthermore, setting up your tech infrastructure comes with significant costs. While you may be able to afford that initial investment now, can you keep up with that growth?
Many new businesses make the mistake of scaling up their operations before getting the technical support they need. This often leads to a rough transition. While it’s important to stay on budget, you also need to be practical about the scaling. If you plan on bootstrapping the entire process, there’s a good chance that you’re not ready. It’s better to wait and do things correctly the first time.
Luckily, startups don’t have to go all-out when it comes to IT. Larger enterprises have the resources to hire large support teams in-house. For small businesses, that route doesn’t make a ton of sense. To reduce your costs, startups need to be leaner on the admin/operating side of the house. Outsourcing all the non-essential roles like HR, Bookkeeping and IT Support is key for them so they can focus on what they do best (the actual business). It’s a great way to get professional support without the burden of having to put up the funds for an in-house team.
Important Things to Consider
Your IT needs can be quite complex. There are several things to consider before making the jump. The following factors will all contribute to the scalability of your system and company.
Data Movement and Safety
Firsts things first, is your data safe? Whether you’re dealing with sensitive company information or private data from your clients, you need to make sure that it can effectively travel through your system without any issues. Not only will you need accessible servers for your employees and various departments, but you’ll also need to have the appropriate software, the ability to make backups, and protective firewalls.
Training and Accepted Systems
How do you plan on training your new employees when you start to scale? The problem with waiting until after you’ve started growing to get technical support is that you’re not able to establish a chosen system. For example, some employees may choose to use Google G Suite while others prefer Office 365. When everyone is using their own software, it’s impossible to implement training techniques and grow as a company. You also lose the ability to build your core processes because everyone is doing things differently with completely different software stacks. Another example of this would be if half of your staff used Microsoft teams and the other half used Slack to collaborate. You’re essentially creating silos in your company which makes it extremely difficult to get everybody rowing in the same direction.
Next, you can start thinking about tasks that can be automated. Automation software like Microsoft Flow can enhance your bottom line significantly. Instead of hiring a person to take care of menial tasks, the software will do it for you.
The great thing about automation software is that it’s quite flexible. It can be used to do everything from saving email attachments to posting on social media.
Automatic Safety and Security
Finally, there’s the job of keeping your entire system safe. All companies are exposed to Internet threats when they work online. Phishing attacks, viruses, and more can wreak havoc on your system. So, you have to stay actively protected from them.
Fortunately, automated technology has you covered. Web content filtering, spam filters, and AI-based anti-virus/malware programs can make all the difference to keep your infrastructure safe. Those threats are constantly evolving, so having automatic systems that can keep up are important. You can also use cybersecurity as a competitive advantage.
While a small startup with only a handful of people can usually get by on their own, that all changes the moment the business starts to scale. IT support should be one of the first big investments you make for your company. Scalable outsourced IT support will grow with you and keep everyone on the same page. Additionally, the right technology partner will be able to increase your bottom line with production and automation.