Recently, I came across a phrase “extended adolescence” coined by psychologist Erik Erikson to explain how teens were taking longer to transition to adults. In fact, some people are calling the age of 25 the new 18.
Your IT infrastructure is like a 25-year-old teenager. If your business is trying to function on a dressed-up desktop “server”, it needs to mature and become somewhat independent.
If you want your business to grow, your IT infrastructure must be able to manage complex tasks and handle larger, more critical responsibilities. Here’s how to turn your big baby server into a functional adult.
5 Signs Your Business IT Infrastructure Is Underdeveloped
1. You’re still sharing documents in-office by printing and physically handing them to another person
How do you share documents? Email to each other? Make paper airplanes?
Every business with more than one person needs to share documents. Many of these documents are digital – this is simply a modern business reality. A high-functioning server can make this process incredibly efficient. No more printer ink wasted.
Imagine a location where all company documents are stored and organized. Imagine that you could control who edits or deletes these files (see #3 below). With a server, you can manage all of these things and more. With the click of a button, everyone who needs access to a document can view and edit it, from any device or location. Easy as pie.
2. More than 3 people use your accounting/ERP or database software
Almost every business has software to manage finances and customer relations.
What happens if you want to share that system among multiple users?
Computers get sluggish
Someone has to take one for the team and run the software 24/7
If that person needs to reboot, everyone loses access to the software
The list goes on.
If you install that software on a server, it runs independently from employee workstations. No slow computers strangling productivity, no one sacrificing their machine for the greater good.
Servers are also designed to optimize database processes, which can increase overall business efficiency.
3. You have serious concerns about who has access to business files at any given time
Everyone has security concerns. What if someone sits down at your computer and starts looking at your files? What if it’s someone from the other side of the world?
With a server managing the permissions and security, you can:
Set each employee’s level of access to documents and programs
Restrict how much time passes before a computer locks automatically
Set notifications and alarms in case of suspicious activity
Mature business IT infrastructure provides a central point of management for security.
4. You’re deleting old files to make room for new ones
Data storage can be quite an issue these days. Where do you put all your large files? How much space do you need? Can you add more if you need it?
Your IT infrastructure can be designed to hold several terabytes of data AND make it easily accessible. Digital storage is relatively cheap today, so a small investment can make file storage much easier.
5. If your desktop breaks, all your business documents are gone
It’s tempting to store all of your files in your My Documents folder or on your Desktop. But what if your computer crashes? What if your hardware breaks? You have no access to those important files.
If all important files are stored on the server, you only have one database to backup. With proper backup practices, your server becomes the most secure place to store all of your files. You can access them whenever and wherever you need them.
Is your immature business IT infrastructure holding you back?
If you meet any of these criteria
You still use mostly physical copies of documents
Multiple people need access to the same program
You’re not sure if your business info is secure (or what security looks like)
You’re running out of digital storage
You’re one unfortunate power outage away from losing all your documents
then it’s time for your business IT infrastructure to grow up.