Youâ€™ve hit your stride in 2022, business is looking good, thereâ€™s an opportunity to grow and now itâ€™s time to tackle the task. Business growth can be scary but extremely rewarding if successful. There are a large number of things to consider and IT should be one of them.
Ensuring IT is scaling with your business is vital to its growth because as your business grows, so does the demand for IT resources. If IT is not able to scale to meet the demand, it can halt the growth of your business and its ability to take on new opportunities. You will need to handle larger volumes of data, more users, and more complex processes.
Without proper scaling, the IT infrastructure can become a bottleneck that slows down operations and reduces efficiency. Therefore, making sure IT is scaling with the business is essential to support the growth and success of the organization.
We will go through three different methods of IT support that businesses use when scaling up. I will cover In-house IT, Ad Hoc Support, and Managed Services, being the most popular ones. I will discuss the pros and cons of each and the circumstances they are best used for.
An in-house IT support team is an internal department within a company that manages and maintains the company’s technology infrastructure. This includes providing assistance to employees through help desk support, managing computer and network systems, and developing software. By having an in-house IT team, a company can have greater control over its technology and respond more quickly to employee needs.
- Quick support
- Physically see equipment/issues
- One IT infrastructure = inside-out knowledge
- Hired to fit company culture
- training tailored to company IT needs
- Higher cost
- No IT support during annual leave
- IT support only cover business hours, not evening or weeks ends
Is this best for my growing business?
This is hard to recommend for a growing business but it can have its purpose. If you highly value company culture/values and want to ensure your IT people reflect that, then having a full-time in-house IT team may be appealing. If your business is upscaling at a rapid growth one IT person may not cut it and hiring another will dramatically increase the costs (double the salaries).
Another consideration is if itâ€™s vital your business stays online over the weekends. If you have an online store and something breaks over the weekend, not allowing customers to make purchases, that could have a catastrophic effect if support isnâ€™t available until Monday.
Ad Hoc Support
Ad-hoc support is similar to calling out a repair service to fix something like a car, they are common in almost every sector. They only operate after the issue arises and their sole function is to offer a solution and ultimately fix the problem, on a one-off basis.
- One-off charges
- No monthly costs
- No monitoring of your systems
- No forecasts of potential issues
- Disruption to business continuity
- Unable to clearly quote the cost due to having to diagnose the problem first
- Ongoing call out
- Possible system downtime
Is this best for my growing business?
This may seem like a cost-effective solution for a growing business but may end up causing more damage than good. This method is best suited for a business with an extremely small IT infrastructure, very little staff, and little online presence. If you (or the owner) are tech-savvy and can handle yourself when it comes to technology then you might get by. But itâ€™s not the recommended option for upscaling as IT infrastructures can dramatically change and itâ€™s best for a professional to oversee the entirety of the operation.
Managed Service Provider
The concept of Managed Service Providers (MSP) can be quite overwhelming, they cover a lot. It covers the entire management of your businessâ€™s IT infrastructure and upkeep. On top, they offer technical support to staff, manage clientsâ€™ accounts across all systems, hardware outsourcing, and cybersecurity. They are basically your one-stop IT shop. MSPs work with your business to address its individual needs and make sure the tech is in place to prioritise those needs.
- The benefit of experts any day, any time. Experts that you actually know
- The company knows and understands your business and the systems within it saving time to diagnose issues
- Saves you time and worry
- Ensures updates are carried out on workstations and servers
- Will set up all of your security requirements
- Education and training for your staff
- Backup and Disaster Recovery planning
- Consistent costing each month
- IT consultancy
- 24/7 monitoring
- A growing business needs to incorporate IT support into its yearly budget planning and sometimes the full cost of this can feel daunting.
- Some IT Companies can try to tie you into unnecessarily lengthy contracts
This is best for my growing your business
The other two options absolutely have their time and place, but for a growing business like yours that wants to put its best foot forward, a Managed Service Provider is the winner here. Their focus on making sure your company is equipped with the most vital & necessary tech is a huge advantage when upscaling.
MSPs are now putting a greater focus on integrating seamlessly into each businessâ€™s culture, so you donâ€™t have to worry about making the wrong choice. If you decide on going for an MSP thereâ€™s still research to be done. To help guide you on the way, check out our article on 5 things to consider when hunting for an MSP.