Setting Up It Infrastructure For A Small Business – Even if we start small, the business goals we focus on are often big Whether it’s a tech startup aiming to be the next Uniker or a nonprofit trying to become a community foundation, a one of our first steps will be to invest in information technology.
When it comes to IT, the challenge for SMEs (small and medium-sized businesses) is tough This is because they have to compete with established corporations that can afford to hire full IT teams. To be competitive, small business owners need their IT infrastructure components to be flexible, scalable and efficient. And that too within their limited budget
Setting Up It Infrastructure For A Small Business
So how do we achieve this? How can we achieve a fast, agile and scalable IT setup? Before we begin evaluating which IT infrastructure configuration option is most appropriate, let’s review my favorite mantra:
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A technology is worthless if it doesn’t increase your productivity and help you achieve your business goals.
When you buy a laptop, you’re investing in a device that lets you use a processor, spreadsheet, photo editor, or design software that makes you more productive and efficient. You’re not actually buying the machine, you’re buying what the machine can do for you This is a great philosophy for dealing with all things IT
The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) concept allows employees to use their personal devices: laptops, mobile phones and tablets. This is an attractive policy for small businesses that are starting up because it allows you to get up and running quickly At the same time, you also free up capital that would otherwise be tied up in the device Also, because employees are familiar with with their own equipment, there can be a hit on the ground and there will be no learning curve. But the biggest benefit of BYOD is employee mobility and the associated productivity gains
BYOD is easier from a cost and setup perspective But from a security and IT support perspective, it can range from difficult to a nightmare The difficulties in IT support come from the variety of devices they will use employees Using personal devices for work also raises data storage, ownership and privacy issues Not to mention the risk of malware and cyber attacks
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After your company grows beyond 4-5 employees, BYOD is not worth the risk Consider the long-term impact of a BYOD policy on your IT security and compliance needs Even a question simple things like how to handle devices and data when an employee leaves the company can put your business at risk.
By using MDM (Mobile Device Management), you can address many of the issues that arise from BYOD policies. An MDM gives you remote access to all of your company’s devices and allows you to deploy security patches, update operating systems and applications, and most importantly, wipe all data from devices remotely if necessary. Whether you have a BYOD policy or not, an MDM should be part of your cybersecurity policy
So what’s the ruling on BYOD? Mobile device management solutions provide security coverage for many issues arising from BYOD policies But the complexity of IT support has not yet been resolved due to the variety of tools used The need for a consistent solution of problems can only be a huge drain on your computing resources
A compromise can be achieved by adopting a CYOD (choose your own device) policy. This policy allows employees to choose from a variety of devices approved by your IT Limiting the variety of devices and making IT support less cumbersome A CYOD policy with an MDM is a great solution for small businesses This gives them the flexibility and the mobility of the staff they need
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For most small and medium-sized businesses, we recommend going with a wireless network For large wired networks, running cables is expensive and time-consuming This is especially inefficient for high-growth businesses, which typically they move to bigger offices. They have to recharge the wiring after every office move
90% of the network and WiFi problems we solve for new customers are due to their network equipment We regularly see companies using Ubiquiti, Ero, Google WiFi, Netgear etc. in their offices. While they are not bad brands, they are designed for small home networks and do not perform well in dense corporate environments. If you have ten or more WiFi devices in your office, you should consider getting an enterprise-grade device like Cisco Meraki or Aruba.
Enterprise-grade networking equipment offers you many benefits, including ease of management, better security, greater scalability, and consistent performance, to name a few. We’ve shared the benefits of a small business WiFi network before upgrading your WiFi network in our previous blogs.
You may have the best possible internet package from the best ISP, but unfortunately, ISPs sometimes fail. Our business is so dependent on the internet that even a few minutes without it can cause major disruptions to our services It’s best to sign up with a backup ISP to avoid these disruptions This will give you peace of mind and what’s more Importantly, it will ensure uninterrupted business service even if your primary ISP goes down
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Dual Internet access is not an expensive affair You can choose a lower tier plan from a different ISP, keeping the most reliable ISP as your primary Managing two different ISPs and packages can seem daunting, especially if you are inexperienced previa If you are not familiar with this concept, it is recommended to get professional help for setting up your crash
A wireless network with CISCO Meraki networking equipment, a low-level bundle with a primary ISP forming an alternate secondary ISP.
Many business owners struggle to determine which suite of productivity apps—Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) or Google Workspace (formerly G Suite)—is best for their business. We’ll limit our consideration to SaaS platforms, since cloud-based applications are now commonplace Both Office 365 and G Suite allow you to create documents, spreadsheets, and presentations in the cloud. They also offer sharing and collaboration capabilities In addition to this, they also offer cloud storage, synchronization and video conferencing functionality.
These SaaS platforms are always online, accessible from any device or location, and integrate with other applications. The ability to collaborate and collaborate improves the mobility and productivity of your employees So the important question is not why but which to choose?
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Google Workspace provides a single window for email hosting, file storage and collaboration. Your employees are probably familiar with the calendar tools in Gmail, Google Drive, and G Suite Google Workspace is a unique cloud-based tool
In addition to online apps, Microsoft 365 offers desktop versions for Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and more. While Google Workspace apps are basic, Microsoft 365 tools are packed with features. They offer all the advanced features you need
Despite availability in the cloud, many companies prefer to create, edit and share files locally In these cases, desktop applications are required and Office 365 is the default
On the other hand, if cloud storage, ease of collaboration, and mobility are more important to your business, G Suite is your best bet. With G Suite, you also get branded business email, which is a nice touch for small businesses
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From an IT resource perspective, deploying and managing Office 365 is very expensive Supporting Office 365 is also more labor-intensive than supporting G Suite So, based on operational costs alone, G Suite is better suited for small and medium companies
Web meetings, webinars, and video conferencing have become a necessity for every business today. Whether you’re a local company with global clients or a startup with remote employees, Web conferencing technology makes col Collaboration is a breeze.
Among the different options available, we will look at two popular technologies for conference rooms: Zoom and Google Meet These two tools are very similar but very different
Zoom is an online video conferencing software that integrates video conferencing, online meetings, webinars, and online group interactions into a cloud-based platform. Zoom was designed with today’s businesses in mind, with remote employees and global customers
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Zoom’s features and capabilities allow you to hold virtual meetings with a large number of participants, keeping it interactive in nature. This makes Zoom very useful for businesses that rely heavily on webinars and online collaboration Features such as simultaneous screen sharing, screen sharing notes, virtual work rooms, chat in the meeting and polls make Zoom very interactive.
On the other hand, Google Meet is a simple tool that focuses on small meetings that are very interactive, informal chats that do not require interviews. It offers an impressive set of features Its integration with G Suite is the most important The ability to join meetings directly from the calendar with just one click is a big plus This simple feature ensures better employee engagement