A client of mine asked a question recently that got me thinking. It’s not the type of question that I think most people would think of on their own, but it’s incredibly important.
My business grew from 5 people to 10 people last year – what concerns with IT do I have now?
In businesses with a team of fewer than five people, each person is typically working independently. That is, each computer and person is an island. Betty’s files are not shared. Luke doesn’t like to share. Fred doesn’t even know how to share.
When you start to add more people, perhaps even as few as two more people in the same department or with the same role, sharing becomes much more important.
Here are some items to consider if your business is planning for growth:
- Implement a password policy that is deployed to all computers and users.
- Share data, and prevent users from accessing data.
- A person can login to any PC and get always access the same server data.
- Deploy printers, applications or PC changes pretty quickly and efficiently.
- Centralized backup
2) Folder structure
Some businesses like to assign drive letters based on departments, such as labeling O:\ for Operations, S:\ for Sales, and X:\ for Executives.
Other businesses maintain a single drive letter, and create individual department folders, such as S:\Sales, S:\Operations, and S:\Executive.
This is decided based on comfort of the people using this, and how many different department folders need to exist. Either way is fine — just be consistent.
Your team should start looking at automation tools. Something that manages the day-to-day operations (service delivery, task-based work, projects, sales and marketing.) There is a tool that exists for every industry – do a search on “[your industry] automation” and see what comes up.
Nominate a few people to be on the demo team to find and evaluate applications.
You may be a few months or a year away from implementing – but it’s a game changer.
Oh yeah – and your competition is already using it.
With five or more people, you still can get away with using an IT guy or girl who charges by the hour. Someone who will run out and fix whatever problem(s) that exist. Once your team has 10 or more people, having a managed IT service will help to make sure the problem(s) start to reduce in quantity.
If you have questions about how to ensure your technology is keeping up with your goals for company growth, please drop me a line.