A business’ IT infrastructure is only as good as the sum of its parts. So, what do small
businesses need to consider when building their infrastructure?
The average size and complexity of IT infrastructures in business has gotten progressively bigger as the number of IT-enabled functions and processes within organisations has grown. Nowadays, nearly every business is using computing and the internet as a critical part of their workflows, and thus it is important for businesses – especially small businesses – to ensure that their IT infrastructure is well thought out. We discussed this with TechQuarters, a provider of small business IT support London based organisations have been using for over a decade. We asked them about the components of a robust and reliable IT infrastructure for small businesses, and the following information is based on their beliefs on the subject.
Building Your Infrastructure
Developing your IT infrastructure is essential for modern business now; and small businesses would do well to ensure that the infrastructure they build is in-keeping with current IT trends, as it will make adapting it in the future more affordable. TechQuarters, like many of the IT support companies London based SMBs rely on, also subscribe to this principle, and it informs the types of solutions that they recommend. For instance, cloud computing has become increasingly commonplace, and is considered by many to be an essential part of a modern IT infrastructure. So, let’s look at the different crucial components:
Understandably, a business wouldn’t be able to get much done nowadays without IT hardware – such as smartphones, PCs and laptops, tablets and 2-in-1 devices, etc. When it comes to the IT infrastructure, hardware is generally used to describe networking hardware. This includes servers, which are crucial for businesses that operate in an office; it may also include routers and other Wi-Fi devices that enable employees to connect to the company’s network.
This is usually the biggest and most diverse category of technologies that make up a business’ IT infrastructure. Businesses will need software that provides their workforce with the tools and functionality they need to perform at work every day. Furthermore, a business’ servers will also require specialist software – TechQuarters, who have been SharePoint consultants for more than a decade, recommend SharePoint Server for businesses that are using on-premise servers as part of their infrastructure. They also pointed to Microsoft 365 as a business suite that provides all the essential software that an organisation needs for productivity.
Though at first communication may appear to be a much more specific category of technology, when compared with hardware and software. However, it is in fact a major component of a small business’ IT infrastructure which spans both hardware and software. For instance, in terms of telephony, a small business with office space will undoubtedly want some business phone systems. Additionally, most modern businesses also have software-based communication channels – the most obvious of which is email, but also includes instant messaging, and video calling/conferencing.
The cloud is becoming increasingly commonplace, and it is really only a matter of time before it replaces on-premise IT infrastructures entirely – therefore, there is a strong argument for small businesses to avoid making costly investments on servers, and simply migrate to the cloud when demand outstrips their current setup. Some organisations choose to build their own private cloud; however, for small businesses, it makes much more sense to use a public cloud platform – such as Microsoft Azure. The benefit of public cloud is plain – all of the infrastructure is already build and maintained to a much higher level of competency compared with what most small businesses can afford. Furthermore, it is very easy to scale up a public cloud-based IT infrastructure, making it much more future-proof.