As your business grows, so too does your need for help. When you’re starting out it’s difficult to justify the extra cost, but you know that at some point it will be necessary. But how do you know when you’ve reached that point? How can you pick the perfect time to engage external resources?
The truth is that there’s no hard and fast rule. It depends on the type of business, how fast you’re growing, what your IT needs are and much more. Luckily, there are some clear signs that things need to change. Below, we’ll address five of the biggest signs we see from our clients when they first come to see us.
Not enough time
This one should come as no surprise. When you’re talking about outsourcing any service, time is generally the main reason. As your business grows, you may find yourself spending more and more time working, not just in the business, but on the business as well. With the many demands this puts on your time, sorting out IT issues gets put on the backburner until something goes wrong, at which point it’s often too late.
You’ve put on additional staff
With more staff comes more administration, more IT hardware and more work. Keeping multiple systems up to date and ensuring appropriate user access can take up a huge chunk of time. Also, when new people start using your existing systems, they can find new ways to break them.
You can no longer accept computer downtime
If your business has grown to a point where your IT systems are always on the go, losing those systems for even a short period can mean a large loss in revenue. For high volume transaction businesses especially, having an avoidable fault occurring can be the difference between a successful quarter and a disaster. By engaging an IT service provider, you’ll greatly reduce your risk of downtime and minimise the time it takes to get back up and running if the worst does occur.
Your system requirements have surpassed your level of comfort
What may have begun with a laptop in a café is now a Microsoft Azure Server running SQL databases and virtual machines. When before you could just backup your files onto an external hard drive, now you might not be aware of whether your backups are occurring and have no idea how to check them. With more complex IT systems, the burden of keeping them operating efficiently shouldn’t rest on your shoulders. Even if your systems aren’t that complex, if you’re not comfortable with fixing problems yourself it’s worth bringing in experts.
You’ve collected sizable amounts of valuable data
Whether it’s customer data, supplier or manufacturing data, when you rely on having the right information it’s important to protect it. Setting up a rigorous backup process is the first step in ensuring your data is safe. If you’re not regularly checking that system and the integrity of your backups, how can you be sure you can restore the data if a fault occurs? Security of your data is another key element that should be considered, with regular software updates rolled out across your business.
There are many more signs that it’s time to get some help, but all you really need to ask yourself is this: can my business continue if something goes wrong with my IT systems? Whether it’s hardware or software, local servers or a cloud-based service, if the answer is not an immediate yes then you should consider having an expert take a look. With Unlimited IT, you can get peace of mind for just one flat fee a month. With plans to suit all businesses, head on over to our website for the full details.