7 Steps To Build A Solid IT Infrastructure For Your Startup
One common misconception about information technology is that it’s not as important as the other primary elements in business. However, modern entrepreneurs think otherwise. In fact, your IT infrastructure could act as the forefront of your business. This is the foundation that holds all operational elements that support the management using data.
If you’re thinking of gradually scaling and expanding your startup business, it’s smart to plan your IT infrastructure growth as early as now. After all, a large part of your growth will rely on this branch of technology. From your network connectivity to your hardware and software, a sturdy infrastructure allows seamless business operations daily.
Your IT infrastructure matters more than you think, so consider executing these steps to build a sturdy one and visit here for IT consulting services in Dallas, for instance.
1. Cover The Basics
To increase efficiency, your business must automate processes as it grows. This means you need to invest in the basic tools and equipment that make up your IT infrastructure. For instance, infrastructure is usually made up of both hardware and software. These components range from your servers and computer devices to software solutions and the like. Here are some of the basics in your IT infrastructure that you should invest in:
Whatever your computing needs, make sure you’re working with a legit company when it comes to custom PCs, laptops, or multi-client workstations. Decide whether you need a PC or whether it’s better to invest in laptops and tablets for your mobile workers. You need to weigh which computer devices are more efficient based on your business tasks and goals. You’ll need items that’ll last for a long time and equipment that requires very little maintenance. It’s a matter of choosing high-quality computer brands and selecting the most reputable computer vendor in the market.
- Hard Drive
Your company data needs a place for storage, and there should be enough room. Therefore, it’s best to invest in an external hard drive. This is another basic IT infrastructure component that’s needed for startups like you, especially if you haven’t been using the cloud yet for now. If a disaster strikes, such as a fire, external hard drives provide protection for important and sensitive business information. Also, even when your data is stored on the cloud, it’s still wise to back up your files on a hard drive. Just encrypt your passwords so that unauthorized people won’t gain access to the content.
Depending on your network’s operating system, your team may need productivity tools for daily duties. This is where software tools come in. Fortunately, a wide range of software is available to support any business and industry. The key is to research tools and software that can assist or streamline your business processes based on your company’s needs.
Whether you need project management tools, editing software, scheduling, or communication tools, there are enough software choices to suit your budget and work preferences. Choose the best ones that can contribute positively to your IT infrastructure. Analyze your needs first and match them with the features and functions offered by the software.
2. Build Your IT Processes
The next step is for you to customize processes for your IT infrastructure. There should be a standardized process for your IT that’s easy to understand for anyone new or those who’ve just joined your company. Instead of using technical terms and IT jargon, ensure that these processes are easy to understand by people from any department or team.
It’s best to avoid excessive complexity, overengineering, and patchwork approaches that IT staff strategizes to do for the time being. Instead, there should be immediate actions to IT challenges and hurdles. The IT department should prioritize developing long-term solutions for technical problems and establish effective workflows for everyone to follow.
Every task should be documented. If you’re hiring outsourced IT services, let them collaborate and work with your internal IT department so that they can hold successful training for everyone in the company. Have them organize an IT infrastructure guidebook as an available resource or reference for employees and stakeholders. After all, an efficient IT infrastructure operation relies on good documentation, which can help resolve critical issues and effectively orient new staff.
3. Consider Business Scalability
The infrastructure you use needs to be as nimble as the business you operate. This means that your processors, storage, and other IT infrastructure should be able to adapt to growth and change. No matter how much you expand your operations, ensure that your IT infrastructure can accommodate your business needs. For instance, if you’re anticipating large data growth, it’s wise to consider transitioning to cloud computing and going for a scalable online service. It doesn’t mean adding enormous amounts of unused capacity but rather making sure that capacity can be expanded easily and inexpensively in the future.
Ensure that your IT infrastructure is as scalable as your business. Be prepared for the changes your business will experience in the next coming years so that you can build your IT infrastructure accordingly.
4. Establish IT Security Policies
Cyber security policies are important when building your IT infrastructure. Having said that, a culture of compliance must be built from the top. Leaders should establish security policies that they should first regard as important values. To ensure infrastructure security and compliance, senior executives and the leadership team must be the ones to establish these and encourage all employees to treat these with high regard.
A minimum security standard for IT infrastructure must be set in such policies. Every department head, manager, and leader should be responsible for ensuring these IT policies’ implementation. Some examples of IT security policies include network security, social media, or remote work. Each policy should be explained in detail as to what rules are acceptable and which ones should never be done by employees.
5. Train Employees About IT Security
Data breaches and cloud security vulnerabilities are often the results of a lack of security awareness. Even when the internal IT department is extra cautious with the security systems, the rest of the employees in the organization should contribute to the security measures by following rules. Hence, there should be sturdy training for everyone in the company, not just for special departments.
Cyber-attacks can happen anytime to anyone in your company. Sometimes, a spammy email can contain a virus that can disrupt all your network and systems. With proper training, your employees can avoid opening these files and prevent mishaps. Usually, data-sensitive employees and senior executives are targeted by these attacks. Educating employees about security risks and best practices helps them comply with security and privacy policies.
Use of security policies such as DPIA
When your company collects, preserves, or uses personal information, the persons whose information is being processed are exposed to dangers. These hazards vary from personal data being stolen or mistakenly disclosed and utilized by criminals, to impersonate somebody, to individuals being concerned that someone will use their data for unknown reasons by your company. A DPIA or the Data Protection Impact Assessment is a method for identifying and mitigating risks associated with personal processing data. A data protection assessment is essential for mitigating risk and verifying GDPR compliance.
A DPIA will increase your company’s understanding of the data protection issues connected with a project and enhance your project’s design and communication with essential stakeholders on data privacy threats.
6. Partner With Reliable Vendors
As a business, you need to partner with reliable vendors. You must choose trustworthy hardware, software, and SaaS vendors to build a robust IT architecture for your business. An infrastructure’s success and your business’ success depend on this step. Before choosing vendors, it’s ideal to test their service on a trial basis first to determine if it’s right for your business.
It’s also best to consider different factors when deciding which vendor or supplier to partner with. Aside from considering the price of the service, ensure that they come with good qualifications, are licensed, and have good customer feedback and testimonials. Also, go for someone who can help decrease your downtimes by monitoring your systems 24/7 if possible. Never prioritize cost when selecting the right vendor. Remember that choosing high-quality service will help you save on high costs in the long run.
When inquiring about the vendors’ services, ask for their cost estimates and ensure that their fees are transparent. You won’t want them to charge surprise fees, as this would lead to unnecessary and unwise expenditures on your end. If you’re considering them as vendor candidates, ask for their service offerings and a detailed contract with all the services and cost breakdowns.
7. Invest In Cloud Platforms
As mentioned, it’s essential for any company to have enough storage for its big data. Eventually, as your startup business expands and grows, you’ll realize that investing in cloud technology platforms is more efficient. While the hard drive can work for companies with expertise and resources in infrastructure security, startup business owners like you can benefit more from cloud platforms because of their additional security, easy access, and cost-effectiveness.
On a cloud platform, the vendor is responsible for security. While there’s no 100% guarantee, it’s still understandable how they can improve security outcomes for businesses with limited security resources. Companies need solid foundations like their cloud services to build a secure infrastructure. However, it’s crucial to emphasize that a cloud-based solution doesn’t exempt businesses from security obligations. You should do your part to secure your data from hacks and other accidents.
You must invest in your IT infrastructure to grow your business. Hopefully, you’ve earned some pointers in building a solid infrastructure for your startup through the tips above. Keep an eye on both the current and future needs of your business. Invest in the basic IT infrastructure, seek help from the pros, and ensure that everyone in the company is on the same page about your IT security policies and rules.