All owners of small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) should plan for their company’s future IT needs. This entails thinking about things like expanding their network, upgrading their hardware, and adding new software. If they don't prepare for the future, they may struggle to keep up with growing demands and eventually fall behind the competition.
In this blog post, we will discuss some tips for strategic IT planning so that SMBs like yours can stay ahead of the curve.
1. Plan for obsolescence
Obsolescence refers to the process by which a piece of technology becomes outdated or no longer supported. For example, Windows 10 will become obsolete by October 14, 2025, which means Microsoft will no longer provide security updates or support for the opeating system (OS) after that date. When Windows 10 reaches its end of life, computers that still use the OS will be vulnerable to various cyberattacks.
To avoid risks like this, take into account obsolescence when planning for future IT investments. It’s also critical to regularly upgrade your hardware and software so that you don’t get left in the dust by your competitors.
2. Factor in scalability
Another important consideration is scalability, or the ability of your system to grow as your business expands. For example, if you're using a cloud-based system, scaling up its resources as you add more users should be easy. If it isn’t, then you may need to consider switching to a different platform or provider.
It's also important to consider things like storage capacity and bandwidth when planning for the future. If you don't have enough storage, you may eventually need to purchase more. Likewise, if your system doesn’t have sufficient bandwidth, you may have to invest in more expensive upgrades down the road.
3. Pursue IT consolidation
Organizational silos and complicated matrix structures can bog down your business and considerably slow down processes. This is why you have to invest in technologies that enable IT consolidation. This means centralizing your IT infrastructure so that it is easier to manage and maintain. When you have a consolidated system, it’s simpler to upgrade and add new features because everything is in one place. This efficiency can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
4. Consider current technology trends
By understanding what new technologies are available and how they can be used, you can make informed decisions about which investments will help your SMB grow and compete in the future. For example, if you see that more and more businesses are making hybrid working a permanent arrangement, it's a good idea to start planning for a cloud-based system that can support this setup.
Big data is another trend to look out for. The ability to effectively analyze the increasing amount of data being generated by businesses today is becoming more and more important. Big data tools and solutions can also help businesses make sense of their data and use it to make better decisions when it comes to IT spending.
5. Invest in redundancy solutions
It’s also important to think about redundancy when planning for your future IT needs. Redundancy refers to having backup systems in place in case of an outage or disaster. For example, if your primary server goes down, you'll want to have a secondary server that can take over. This way, you can avoid downtime and keep your business running smoothly. And while redundancy solutions may seem like an unnecessary expense, it's important to remember that the cost of downtime can be much higher.
By keeping these things in mind, you can develop a plan for your SMB’s future IT needs, avoid costly surprises, and ensure that your business can always meet demands. Contact us today at XBASE Technologies to learn more about how we can help you strategize for long-term success.