“7 out of 10 organizations believe IT infrastructure enables competitive advantage and optimizes business performance.” (IBM Institute for Business Value and Oxford Economics “IT Infrastructure Conversation” study)
Your employees might undervalue the instant access they have to the software and applications that are crucial to their day-to-day business functions.
But you can’t afford to.
As your company grows, so do the needs of your consumers and your employees. As a business leader, ignoring the importance of planning and developing an IT infrastructure based on the needs and priorities of your company is catastrophic to long-term success.
Use technology to propel growth rather than hinder it. A strategic IT infrastructure addresses the needs of users today while being flexible enough to satisfy requirements as the business matures.
Why A Sophisticated IT Infrastructure Is Important
Most start-ups and small businesses that aren’t technology-based companies start out with a “DIY” infrastructure that gets the job done – they invest in basic hardware like desktop computers, laptops, a simple phone system and a router for a solid Internet connection. Delivering services and communicating with employees, suppliers and customers is typically accomplished through cloud applications that allow you to share files over the Internet, like Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Apps for Business.
But as the company grows, issues of security, connectivity and overall productivity are increasingly questioned. Computing speed and reliability are important, but what about system disruptions and security breaches? Cyberattacks on small businesses are up 300 percent since 2012 due to weaker online security and their ability to be an entry point to other, perhaps larger businesses’ sensitive data.
Ensuring that your IT infrastructure is reliable and secure is rudimentary. To gain a real competitive advantage, a strategic infrastructure is vital. Smart investments in hardware, software, network services and people to manage it all could be the difference between a profitable company and a failing one. Taking shortcuts to save money is unwise – even something as simple as poor cabling could make a fancy software application unusable.
To tackle the next-generation IT challenges, business leaders need to get involved in the infrastructure conversation, elevating the importance of IT infrastructure and making the right investments for the future.
Go Beyond Your Current IT Infrastructure
“Less than 10% of companies report that their IT infrastructure is fully prepared to meet the demands of cloud, mobile, social and analytics.” (IBM Institute for Business Value and Oxford Economics “IT Infrastructure Conversation” study)
While the basics of every IT infrastructure are the same, plans for building an infrastructure must be strategic.
Consider company growth in terms of employees and customers. Does your current IT infrastructure accommodate mobile access by request? Are you able to easily integrate cloud computing on demand?
One of the major advantages of a solid infrastructure is that it provides for an exchange of information across your organization. A strategic infrastructure reduces the inconsistencies and communication barriers inherent in an organization’s structure, establishing cross-functional and interpersonal communications.
Be Proactive Rather Than Reactive
“Nearly two-thirds of organizations are planning to increase IT infrastructure investment spending.” (IBM Institute for Business Value and Oxford Economics “IT Infrastructure Conversation” study)
The first step in considering strategic enhancements to your current infrastructure is seeing past everyday use of apps and software. Although they provide your company and employees with great value, without a strategic IT infrastructure in place, those applications are inefficient or, worse, unusable.
Concerned that you aren’t getting the most out of your current technology infrastructure or IT strategy? Restore your confidence with some help from the IT experts and refocus on the growth of your business.