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Assessing Your Small Business Technology Infrastructure
Is your technology ready for business? Learn how to make sure that the tech in your officeyour PCs, network, and mobile devicesis right for the job.
Assessing your small-business technology infrastructure may sound like a daunting task, but it doesnt have to be. At the most basic level, youre simply evaluating what you have, what you need, and how to get it.
Hardware is the watchword herespecifically, which machines will best serve your company into the future. If youve ever wondered whether your business is built to scale, or even survive over time, here are some of the best questions to ask.
If its more than four or five, you may want to consider consolidating some computing power away from each desk. Server rooms offer a nice, flexible option: Properly cooled and designed, they provide expandable processing power well into the future. For an even more versatile option, you can try remote-hosted software and servers that avoid the hassles of upgrades, maintenance, or equipment.
If your business is essentially you, you may not need additional infrastructure. But if you expect to add employees and payroll in the future, then its time to think about some company-wide hardware standards.
Look at some reviews of enterprise operating systems, office software, and bulk licensing for the other programs you use. And if your employees will be using their own mobile devices to work, consider putting a mobile computing policy on paperyou never know what kids today will be packing when they arrive on Day One.
Home networks work fine when youre alone in the garage, but youll need something more robust if your company expands. Take a look at some of the fatter data pipes available, from top-flight cable networks to your own dedicated T1 line. After all, the last thing your growing business needs is to drop orders because your network cant handle the bandwidth from all those transactions. Many ISPs even offer business class packages to help streamline your experience.
Either way, youll need the right tools for the job. Mobile business requires mobile hardware, from rugged smartphones and tablets to ultralight notebooks that can run all day on a single charge and slide into a portfolio with ease are perfect for the road warrior.
Consider your data needs as well: portable hotspot devices, which allow you to generate a mobile wireless connection and keep your company online and in the black as you process transactions on the road. And if you stay in the office? Weight and form factor matter less, of course, so you can focus your energy on pure processing power and reliability.
Infrastructure may bring to mind images of highways and bridges, but in the world of business it simply means the machines you rely on every day. Choose these wisely and free yourself up to focus on what matters most: your product, and the people who use it.
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