Scalability is in the forefront of every small business owner’s mind. You have to make sure that you are prepared to not only be successful now, but also in the future. One of the biggest concerns for a lot of owners is Business IT Scalability.
Before we go any further, let’s take a moment to remember one very important consideration: you are not in the IT hosting or data center business. You have technology systems because you need them in order to support your business. With that in mind, lets go over the keys to making your business technology scalable.
Keys to Business IT Scalability
Embrace the Cloud
Providing Business IT Scalability is without a doubt one of the biggest advantages to utilizing Cloud Computing services.
The core concept around cloud computing is that you can outsource your hardware, software, and IT personnel needs to a professional. This alleviates you from having to bear the costs of in-house IT acquisition, installation, and maintenance costs. What does this mean in layman’s terms? If you need to increase your computing power, you don’t have to worry about how many servers you will need, whether or not they will be compatible, and what it will take to install them.
This approach can provide you with increased performance, and cost reductions, but makes it very easy to scale your infrastructure based on your needs.
Configure Servers to Allow for Additional Capacity
If you were to think of your entire technical infrastructure as your car, your servers would be the engine. They are what supports all your applications, programs, software, and other IT components. And just like slow or problematic engine performance would affect your ability to drive your car, a server malfunction can affect the performance of your entire company.
One of the core principles surrounding business IT scalability is ensuring that your systems can handle increased workloads and network traffic. What this means for your servers is that no one server will act as a single point of failure for the system.
Virtualization is another way to ensure that your servers are able to support your business IT scalability efforts. With physical servers, you may be forced with a decision to stack multiple applications and roles onto the same physical server. This increases risk for the server and applications themselves as unrelated applications on the same server could affect each other and their performance. Through virtualizing your servers you can create a separate and unique server for each application and role supporting your business. This allows better management of workloads by controlling resources allocated for each application server, allows you to protect your servers from potential corruption of hardware failures, and reduce complexity of decommissioning as individual servers can be disabled instead of risking potential errors and problems removing software.
Ensure your Software is Optimized for Scalability
A common problem that companies experience when implementing new business software is compatibility issues with other current IT platform components. Understanding how these components all act together requires intense inventory tracking and documentation. Without that, many companies are simply afraid of the possible consequences of adopting new or updated software. Overcoming this challenge requires a focus on software development and interoperability, as opposed to server and network administration.
The other side of ensuring business IT scalability through your software is preventing vendor lock-in. Vendor lock-in is a situation where changing software vendors is impractical because of the reliance that has been created within your overall system. This limitation on the software that you can implement going forward may leave you unable to take advantage of new and emerging software that may be more beneficial for your organization.
Establish a Deadline for Upgrades and Improvements
Every IT team has run into compatibility issues and challenges that have to be overcome during one upgrade or another. In order to build an infrastructure around business IT scalability, you must have deadlines and timelines for when to retire and update old systems to prepare for new and improved technology. Keeping this type of mindset will make it harder for complications to be a reason to halt the entire upgrade process.
Document your Changes
Have you ever taken a moment to consider all of the technology components that are required to keep your organization up-and-running? Keyboards, computers, screens, hardware, software, phone systems… the list goes on and on. Each of these components creates a huge number of components, and many (if not, most) of them are changing or being updated regularly.
Without a clear idea as to how this would affect your organization, predicting and preventing compatibility issues is nearly impossible. Thorough documentation is absolutely critical for business IT scalability for this reason.
Lease Your Technology Assets
Another great way to ensure that you have the technical ability to support a growing company is to lease your technology assets from a managed services provider who is capable of providing you with the systems you need. Leasing technology means that you don’t have to have the up-front costs that are associated with technology purchases. It also usually provides you with more flexibility in terms of getting new or updated equipment.
Contact a Managed Services Provider
Outsourcing your technology maintenance to a managed services provider is without a doubt the easiest way to guarantee business IT scalability. By partnering with an expert, like Orion, all of these items that are critical to your ability to rely on technology for business growth are taken care of.
Our Cloud platform is the perfect solution if you are looking to outsource your IT completely. If you are not quite ready to outsource your systems yet, our managed services and server administration services will support and maintain your in-house systems for you.
Is your company’s technology ready for the next step in your organization’s growth? Contact our team today to learn how Orion can help!