Having the right IT support and solutions in place to run your business in the competitive London market is one thing, but you also need to be able to build towards the future to embrace innovation and stay ahead of the competition. The challenges of new technology in the digital age can bring concerns about cost, security and the ability of staff to adopt change, but future-proofing your business doesn’t have to mean a complete IT infrastructure overhaul and huge amounts of training. It is more a case of smart investment to enhance the hardware and software you already have, identifying where and when upgrades are required, and planning for their effective implementation. Here’s how your IT support service can help you make the right moves when it comes to building the IT infrastructure your business needs.
First and foremost, it is important that the organisation sees IT as an investment, not an expense, and recognises the benefits of embracing the technologies that can help to drive the business forward through more efficient processes and a capacity for expansion. Company-wide recognition of the important role IT plays in the success of the business, from the board to the staff on the coalface, will ensure adequate budget is allocated and team members are on board with any changes to their roles, daily tasks or working practices.
Your staff may be apprehensive about adapting to new technology such as cloud-based services, or changing from a traditional workstation to a remote working policy using mobile devices, but implementing the IT changes your business needs gradually can help to calm any fears. Your IT support team can work with each department to not only help staff get to grips with any new hardware or software, they can also help to illustrate the improved efficiency the upgrades can bring. If your staff see how new technology can make their working life that bit easier, they are more likely to get on board with it.
It is also worth remembering that the workforce of tomorrow will be made up of millennials, who will be far more used to practices such as the BYOD or CYOD approach to device use, so in order to harness their skills and keep the company relevant into the future, now is the time to start considering implementing the tech infrastructure they want to work with.
The IT Roadmap
Before making any investments in new technology, the organisation should work with its IT support service to create an IT roadmap, assessing the current IT requirements of the business, as well as the plans for future expansion. The company needs to outline and understand how the existing IT infrastructure supports business-critical processes, and which function, procedure or best practices new technology can improve to provide real value and a return on investment. This should be aligned with the company’s overall business strategy and should help identify where budget needs to be allocated to meet current and future needs.
The IT roadmap should give the business a clear outline of the technology that needs to be kept, what needs to be upgraded, when those enhancements need to be implemented, and how they can be brought on board gradually.
In order to keep the business running at an optimum level, any devices or software that are either no longer efficient or will be unable to meet future demands should be upgraded, but your IT support service should also be able to prolong the lifespan of your devices with proactive machine maintenance that saves on replacement costs that can instead be channelled into further innovation.
At times though, upgrades are necessary, and as the world of cloud computing continues to grow, businesses need to look at how they can use this new technology to help increase their efficiency and compete in the future.
While cloud computing’s virtual service model helps to consolidate services, is scalable to meet increases or decreases in usage and demand, reduces the number of providers the organisation relies on, and cuts the costs associated with traditional servers and software, the problem for many organisations is that, according to this research, half of CTOs worry about moving their systems and data from the traditional IT infrastructure to a cloud service. But it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing scenario. Integrating new and old (but still efficient) systems can enhance the technology you already have, and enable your business to meet the demands of tomorrow.
One major advantage of integrating cloud computing into your IT infrastructure is that you can build your new tech capabilities on a separate platform, availing of its pay-as-you-go service model to implement only what your business needs, and testing how it works for you without disrupting your current systems and threatening business continuity.
Again, your IT support team can advise on the level of cloud-based service your business needs, can help integrate it with your current systems, and can provide the know-how to ensure your staff are comfortable working with it.
An unfortunate side-effect of the ever-increasing need for technology to support businesses in the digital age we now live and work in is the rise in cybercrime, which by 2021 is set to cost the world £4.5trillion annually. It is therefore imperative to include a robust and effective cyber security policy when planning for the future of your organisation.
Your entire IT infrastructure (current and new) needs to be protected from viruses, malware and ransomware, not just to outsmart the hackers, but in order to adequately protect the data your organisation holds and stay compliant with the upcoming GDPR legislation.
That will require running security audits to identify any gaps in your security, regular patches, updates and upgrades, but also means ensuring all staff understand their own role in keeping the company secure, fostering a cyber security culture, and creating a company-wide incident response plan.
Your IT support team in London can help with all of this, outlining what you need to do to keep your company protected, so that your efforts to move your business into the future are not scuppered by external threats or internal weaknesses.
Putting plans and procedures in place to ensure your company’s IT infrastructure is ready for the future can take up time and resources you can’t afford to invest when you are focused on running the business, but hiring an outsourced IT support team means you can avail of their expertise and experience to make the process that much easier and more cost-effective.
Find out how the team at Optimity can help your business stay ahead of the competition with the right investments in your IT infrastructure that will ensure you are ready for the future by getting in touch or booking an IT audit with us.