At NextPoint IT, we run into a lot of small business owners who want their technology to “just work.” Now we love small business owners, especially being ones ourselves, but it can be complicated to ensure your technology “just works.” And a lot of times, your small business needs to spend some capital to do so.
One of the biggest causes of IT that doesn’t “just work” is outdated equipment like computers, printers, servers, phones, etc.
There are two major causes to this. First, computers and IT equipment wear out over time. They’re like cars where you can do maintenance to keep them at optimal performance, but eventually, the thing is going to breakdown. Second, technology is constantly evolving, and the way things “talked together” 10 years ago can be outdated today. When you try to get a 10-year old printer to talk to a modern computer, there can be a lot of complications.
In general, NextPoint IT recommends upgrading your basic office IT equipment on a 3-year cycle. You can do 5 years…but you’ll see a significant loss in performance of the last 2. And as a result, your small business’s team will be less efficient. (Technology X People = Productivity)
Poor IT Design
The second biggest cause of IT not “just working” is the lack of a strategic IT design and plan. There are a lot of details that go into designing a network for even a one-man shop. There can be cloud and on-prem servers, printers, VoIP phones, copiers, fax machines, kiosks, dashboards, etc., which need to be configured to effectively work together.
A lot of IT guys will just “duct tape” things to get them to work, but when something goes wrong, this solution can cause multiple problems.
What can you do?
One solution is to look for a CIO consultant service like our partner Fourteen Six Street. They work with small businesses to design their IT infrastructure on a budget to ensure it’ll work for the long-haul. And another solution is to make sure your business is budgeting for IT upgrades on a 3-year cycle. If you know you’ll be upgrading equipment at this rate, you can strategically budget for it.
If you have any interest in a CIO service, feel free to reach out to us below. We’d love to introduce you to our partner or work directly with you. We’re based in the Indianapolis, Fishers, and Carmel, Indiana region, but Fourteen Sixteen Street works nationally.
Credit: Tim Ludden