Extended periods of rapid growth are positive for most businesses, as it means that the business is acquiring new customers, which is driving increased revenue and better business outcomes. Whilst these periods are exciting and necessary for the longevity of a business, it also creates a host of new challenges, especially regarding IT and technology. In this article we will delve into 6 common IT challenges for fast-growing businesses, and how they can be solved with the help of a trusted third-party IT provider.
As businesses grow, they will also need their IT systems to grow with them, including everything from software licenses to cloud servers. If businesses are not careful, their IT spend can get out of control, leaving them with a large invoice, exceeding their budget and eating into their profit margin. Often, fast-growing businesses are not getting the most value from their IT spend and deployment and implementation of technology is reactive, rather than proactive.
If a business partners with a third-party IT provider, the provider will typically be able to give a simple monthly cost per user, with everything included for the end-user and back end set-up. IT providers can also proactively forecast the cost of larger projects, and the associated ongoing fees, making it easier for businesses to stick to their IT budget.
As businesses grow, they have different requirements regarding IT infrastructure, as well as IT support. For businesses that already have an internal IT department, during periods of rapid growth, the team typically is forced to dedicate their time to research, implementing and deploying new systems to support the growth. This results in less time dedicated to actioning support tickets which can decrease productivity within other departments and slow business growth.
If businesses involve a third-party IT provider, they can either outsource the implementation of new technologies or outsource their support desk. This gives IT departments more time to do what they do best to support the continued growth of the business.
Hiring new employees on short notice is always a challenge. However, this is only made more difficult due to the current chip shortage as hardware procurement can be a lengthy process, and even if a business already has the device, it still needs to be reimaged and set up for the employee. If onboarding is not a smooth experience it can give new hires a poor first impression of the company, leading to increased churn.
A trusted third-party IT provider can assist with the onboarding of new employees through the procurement and deployment of new devices. This ensures that every employee receives the right equipment and it is ready to use from day one.
Whilst most cyberattacks that we hear about in the news are high profile multi-national enterprises, small businesses and fast-growing start-ups are just as likely to be targeted. This is due to the fact that cybercriminals view these companies as easy targets as they typically have invested less in security. If a business does get attacked, not only can it harm their reputation, but it can also lead to significant downtime as the attack is remediated.
This challenge can be solved by investing in a comprehensive security solution. Such a solution typically includes multiple layers of defence to ensure that even if a hacker gets through one layer, there are still many more to stop them from accessing confidential data. Most security solutions also include backup and disaster recovery functionality to ensure swift recovery after an attack.
In the early stages of rapid growth, businesses may not have sufficient liquid cash to invest in upgrading IT systems to support the growth. This is particularly true for infrastructure such as servers, which require a significant capital investment. Thankfully, with the rise of cloud servers, businesses can move away from capital expenses and move to operational expenses, as there is no upfront investment, but rather businesses only need to pay for what they use.
An IT provider can not only help with the implementation and deployment of cloud servers but also use some of the built-in cost management features to ensure the business gets the most value from their cloud investment.
Whilst small businesses can typically get away with using spreadsheets to store customer relationship information, this is not feasible once a business reaches a certain size. This can be solved through the implementation of a customer relationship management solution, such as Microsoft Dynamics 365. As the implementation of such a solution is not a quick process, businesses should invest in a CRM solution early, to be prepared for their continued growth.
For any business that is currently growing, or looking to grow, you don’t want IT to be holding you back. Our role as a third-party IT provider is to ensure that your IT works as intended and supports the growth of your business. If you want to find out more about how we can help your business, contact us today.