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Blog: Start ups..when do you think about IT?

1 November 2013

cloud round

For a number of new start ups, during the conception phase, IT can come quite far down on the ‘to do’ list.  But, if you take a step back and think about how IT and technology can enable your business to reach it goals and objectives, at the early stages, you will be going in the right direction.

You may say that working for an IT company, I am bound to say that, which in some ways may be true, but if you hear me out I can explain how IT can be an enabler to your business.

Ask yourself this, at what point do you think about IT? When it breaks? When it doesn’t do as it is told? When you get a cool new gadget that looks the part but you have no idea how to use it?

I have come up with a few things to consider when you are thinking about IT for your business.

What type of devices do you need? 

At this point it is important to think about what you will need your devices for – is it for communication, design, admin? This will help you with your decision. It is also important to think about whether you will require a device that is suitable for working from multiple locations or that can be accessed on the move.

How many users will you have?

At first you may only have one or two, but as time goes on and your business goes from strength to strength, you will need an IT strategy that is flexible enough to accommodate more users as your business grows.

What type of connection will you require?

Is a simple broadband sufficient for your business needs or do you need a more reliable connection? Broadband is ideal for small businesses with 1-5 users, where the Internet is only used for tasks such as checking emails or internet browsing.

However if your business requires to be online regularly, if you are uploading and downloading large documents regularly, using the internet to communicate with customers or require a secure internet connection to take payments across, then you may need to think about a leased line, or EFM perhaps? (Technical details on these can be found on our website!)

How do you plan to store your data?

You may have heard of the term ‘Big Data’ but think ‘I am a small business, so there is no way that can apply to me’ BUT mostly Big Data is actually made up of lots of little data in different places and spaces.  It is important that you look after your data as turning it into knowledge is the key.

Ensuring that your data is stored safely, backed up regularly and that you abide by data legislations are key to running a business.  The information you have on your business, customers, suppliers and competitors is what allows you to operate your business and make informed decisions.

Storing your business data on an external hard drive or on your PC comes with its risks.  Have you thought about what would happen if either of these were stolen, destroyed by a fire or just decided to stop working (which sometimes technology decided to do).

Have you thought about the cloud to store your data? It may sound like the latest buzz word, but it can provide real benefits to your business.

These may seem like daunting questions to answer now, but trust me – if you get these right now it ensure you have the right IT in place to ensure your business can run to the best of its ability – now and in the future, you will be off to a flying start.

Don’t think of IT as yet another cost of a start up, think of IT as an enabler to allow you to run your new business the most efficient and effective way for you to make money.

Visit IFB at stand B9 at the New Start and Scottish Business Exhibition, Thursday 14th & Friday 15th November

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