Most businesses nowadays have a lot of use of a strong tech presence. Which means that as they grow, that need is likely to grow as well. However, it’s not as simple as getting yourself a few new computers in the office. You need to cope with a broadening diversity as well as a broadening range of demands. If you’re not taking your tech seriously as you get more of it in, then it could be the weak link that breaks all your efforts to scale.
Leaving holes in your training
As your business’s reliance on tech expands, it’s likely you’re going to be introducing new processes. Whether that’s using specific new software or implementing new security practices. You have knowledge that you’re going to have to train to all your staff. However, this isn’t training that just needs to be done once then forgotten about. If you make that mistake, you will have a harder time bringing people who missed the training or new employees up to speed. Instead, make sure you document everything and systemize your new processes as a part of the business’s core knowledge. Otherwise, you will be letting skill gaps grow to the point that employees are significantly less productive and efficient.
Not backing yourself up
Speaking of inefficiency, let’s take a look at how you’re using all the data that your business relies on. Whether it’s important documents on plans and finances or data you could use like customer metrics, you need to be careful with it. This means not keeping it only on one device in one location, but taking the time to back it all up on a regular basis. It doesn’t just go for your data, either. It also goes for the tech you use and even your internet connections. If it goes down, you should have a replacement in the wings to cut down the level of work interruption it’s causing. For your internet, you should consider using backup connections like dongles when your router or main service provider goes down. It might be more expensive than usual, but will most likely not be as expensive as losing all those working hours.
You don’t need a computer for every single person
There are times when you could stand to be a little more cost-effective, however. New tech in the business costs money. Not just through the initial purchase, but through software licensing and future maintenance costs, too. So, consider offering employees the option to work using their own devices. They could even work remotely from home. Just make sure that they’re following proper protocol and security measures with those devices. You don’t need external sources proving a vulnerability to the business. You could even go as far as offering that option primarily to those with lower levels of access.
Expanding your security efforts
The idea of offering different levels of access is just one of the ways you could take the security of the business tech a bit more seriously. If someone doesn’t ever need access to certain kinds of data, then allowing them to access it makes them nothing but a potential liability. Even so, no-one should be lax with password security of leaving their devices logged in when they shouldn’t be. But teaching appropriate use of tech and data isn’t the only way to protect the business. You should be investing in more thorough security measures, from software that blocks malware to even hiring teams like ethical hackers who find vulnerabilities in your network with the express purpose of helping you seal them up.
Know your limits
When your reliance on tech gets to the point where you are using networks and taking security more seriously, you need to think about how much responsibility you’re able to take on them. Go too far and you could be spending more time running your IT systems as opposed to running your business. That does not make for a very productive company. If you’re not at the stage where you can justify hiring a full-time IT team, that doesn’t mean you should try handling it all yourself. Instead, you should look into outsourcing options like technology consulting. You need to know your own capacity to deal with the administration and fixes of your IT system.
Get serious about energy costs
Back to cost effectiveness, it’s not just the hardware and software costs that are going to build up if you’re not careful. An extensive tech system is going to be a particularly large source of cost for the business. Particularly when it comes to energy bills. But you can let your business really run off the leash with said bills if you’re not careful. Make sure that you are teaching your employees to properly consider how much energy they’re using, ensuring they don’t leave their workstations turned on for too long when they’re not there. You should make sure all devices have automatic sleep mode at the ready, but even that isn’t enough. People have to be responsible for their machines.
Finding new revenue sources
Expanding your tech also offers more opportunity to make revenue, too. For instance, we’re going to assume that part of your tech expansion includes a bigger presence online. But you shouldn’t just be spending money to make sure that said presence is a lot more visible. You should also be using it as a platform to make more money and open new revenue streams. We’re not just talking about going into ecommerce, either. You can just as easily make a new revenue stream by monetizing a blog connected to the website or even using your brand to sell eBooks and webinars from your site.
Adding to your workload instead of reducing it
As we’ve said, taking on a lot more tech could easily shut down the productivity of the business if you’re not aware of how to properly allocate your efforts. But that could go as far as the work that you’re able to do on the computer, as well. If your business is scaling, you’re going to have a lot more administrative work to do. A lot more human resources records to look over and correct, a lot more financial expenditures and income to properly file. More payroll to get moving. Instead of doing it all yourself, you should into software that can automate more of your business processes. Otherwise, what’s the point of having a bigger IT section if it isn’t making it easier for everyone to do their jobs?
Not upgrading your means of communication
As a business gets bigger, it’s also going to have the need for a lot more communication Internally and externally. But relying on old methods that might have seemed okay in the past will no long be good enough. You might have been able to rely on instant messaging when it was just a team of three using their devices to stay in touch. However, when you’re upgrading to a team of ten, fifteen, or more, then a lot more time that could be wasted in IMs. Instead, you should be using more direct contact, like video conferencing, or an organized email or notes system if you don’t want to interrupt someone in the middle of their workload. You need to find the communication methods that are most efficient for your business in particular.
Letting the tech take care of itself
One of the mistakes that a lot of business owners make is underestimating the needs of the tech after their initial purpose and install. Like all devices and hardware, they are susceptible to issues down the line. So you need to create a full maintenance and improvement schedule to keep them as reliable as possible. Have someone in the now keeping an eye out for hardware drivers that the devices in the office need to stay most effective. Take the time every now and then to clear temporary and unnecessary data. Check your backups and make sure they’re consistent with all the data you need. You should even schedule simple things like cleaning dust from the hardware itself.
Diving too deep into the Cloud
Cloud software has had a large impact on business. It can be very useful as a way of temporarily storing and sharing data of all kinds. However, you should never make it the permanent home of the business. Nothing is 100% reliable. If your Cloud provider’s server goes down you could lose access to important data just when you need it the most. Even worse, you could potentially lose it forever. Use the Cloud as a helpful tool, but not as one of your main methods of storing or backing up your essential data.
The proper use of resources, the right hardware choices, the allocation of effort, and the availability of knowledge are essential to running a professional operation with the right tech. Miss of any of them through making the mistakes above, your tech will be a liability, not the boon that it should be.