Technology is inescapable. It’s integrated throughout every facet of our life. From how we work and live our lives, technology will grow for as long as humans continue to advance in their capabilities.
But for many small businesses just starting up, IT operations are probably low on the list of priorities.
As a small business, you might have outsourced IT support. Maybe hired a small IT company, or even a single “IT Guy” to manage your security and maintain your networks - but didn’t worry about investing in an end-to-end cybersecurity solution as much as finding the perfect office space - or the right employees.
Outsourcing IT support can certainly allow people to focus on growing the business rather than worrying about the technology needed to support that growth - but with growth comes more staff, more computers and workstations, more data, the need to share data across more locations.
More. more. more.
While we watch great companies in Seattle grow, find success and add on additional staff, computers and locations, we also hear about the growing pains that most don’t typically talk about.
This is a literal growing pain.
One in which the business has outgrown the operational maturity level of the managed IT provider, and is no longer able to operate efficiently.
So what does it mean when a company “outgrows” it’s IT support?
It comes down to one thing really; The IT support company no longer has the ability to secure distributed data, as well as ensure that organization can effectively communicate and share that data across all locations and users.
At Attentus, when we work with a new client, big or small, we take the time to deeply understand how the organization is using their ERP and CRM solutions, whether they're located in the cloud or not, what type of data security is implemented. Not only do we understand these complexities initially, but we review these areas with our clients on a quarterly basis to ensure that we are providing the appropriate technology systems and support to keep the business running efficiently now, and in the future.
In order for an IT resource to successfully manage both the urgent and the important technical issues in a business, as well as continuously meet the needs of the organization as it changes shape and form, that IT resource needs to communicate with the organization on a regular basis.
Ask yourself; does your IT resource communicate regularly with the department heads in your organization to keep up with the changes as fast as they are made?
At Attentus, we talk to a lot of Seattle businesses. A big issue we typically see is a business that has a couple hundred workstations, but has only one or two IT resources. Those IT resources are full time technical employees that spend all of their time working on things that are just “fires” throughout the business, because they don't have the people or the tools to leverage their talent.
In this situation, the IT resource is at the beck and call of the end user; your employees.
The skill set of the IT resource is underutilized, and they never have the time to actually work on the important strategic initiatives that help the company grow, and establish better policies.
Your company ends up handcuffed to the few IT staff in your organization, who all hold the keys to the castle.
Because the IT team doesn’t have the ability to document and fight the fires all in the same day. They are mostly concerned about the here and now, rather than the future. Communication is focused on the people who need help today, not to prevent the issues that could occur tomorrow.
Growing Companies Need To Start Asking More Questions About How Data Is Being Stored And Secured
As more and more businesses start to employ people who work from home, the question becomes more of “how are you securing your data?” and less of “do we need to secure our data?”.
This questions is a really important consideration for businesses that are growing with distributed workforces.
And so are many others, like:
What's the consequence of bringing your own device into your organization?
Who's responsible for security on the “bring your own device” policy?
What do you do if there's someone's logged on to their Comcast account at home while connected to your network?
These are all really important questions, and most growing organizations don’t stop to take the time to consider it.
Growing businesses are often thinking about where they can cut costs, rather than how they can prevent costs from incurring.
You need to start communicating with your IT resources and start evaluating your security as your company grows.
If you're not communicating, If you're not controlling the network, you're not controlling the connection, you're not controlling the shares, you're not controlling the computer. You have a lot that is outside of your control.
Without communication, a data breach or ransomware attack is bound to happen, simply as a result of growth.
Growing Companies Need To Start Considering Compliance Regulations
There's an area that growing businesses need to consider once they staff above 50 users, and that's legal compliance.
If your business is under 50 users, there are a lot of regulatory things that you're exempt from, because you're considered a micro business. But as soon as you exceed 50 users you're liable for compliance regulations.
Growing businesses need to be considering adding in compliance regulations and policies, as well as working with an IT resource that can support that need.
What got you from zero to 10 isn't going to get you from 10 to 20. And what got you to 20 isn't going to get you to 50. And those are just common benchmarks that having experienced people helping in on your side, to help you navigate those processes, instead of operating them really rough water, saves your money time and helps your organization grow with a much more stable outlook and plan to profit.
How Can Attentus Help?
At Attentus, we believe that education is a crucial component of any successful I.T. solution. That’s why we make it a priority to learn about your business, so we can speak your language and work together through the I.T. process—from prep through delivery to monitoring and follow-up.
We’re committed to taking the mystery out of I.T. That means listening to our customers’ needs and working together to develop clear concrete solutions. Understanding your goals—and getting you there—is our top priority.
Whether your business has 10 users or 250, Attentus delivers elite infrastructure, unwavering support, and intelligent strategies, all with a personal touch that’s rare in the I.T. business.