For the best chance for success, small businesses require an IT infrastructure that is effective and future-proof.
Nowadays, in business, information technology is present at every single level of an organisation; and all that technology interlinks to form the business’ IT infrastructure. Due to this level of integration, an organisation’s IT infrastructure plays a major role in their productivity, their business continuity, and their customer reputation. We discussed this with TechQuarters, an IT support provider London-based SMBs have been working with since 2010 to build better IT infrastructures. When we asked them about what SMBs need to consider when building an IT infrastructure that will not only last, but be able to adapt to the changing landscape of business technology, these are the areas that they spoke about:
Hardware plays a big part in a business’ IT infrastructure – as it is the way in which employees will access digital resources, and it may even also support an organisations network and workloads (as is the case with servers). According to TechQuarters, who are one of the top London IT Support Companies, the hardware aspect of an IT infrastructure mostly comprises of devices used by employees. These include laptops and desktops, and (increasingly nowadays) smartphones and tablets; all of these types of devices are suitable for most of the basic work requirements. Individuals who favour a lightweight work setup that supports remote and mobile working may prefer to use tablets or 2-in-1 devices. Individuals whose work encompasses complex work – such as design, or photo/video editing – should be using desktops, or a high-end laptop.
Communication devices and channels also form a significant portion of an organisation’s IT infrastructure. Computers, smartphones, and telephone sets are all examples of devices using for business communication every day, so choosing the right ones are important. Furthermore, nowadays businesses use many different types of communication – including emails, telephony, videoconferencing, and instant messaging. A business should ensure that their IT infrastructure encompasses all these different channels. When we asked TechQuarters, they advised choosing a solution that unifies all of an organisation’s main forms of communication – for instance, Microsoft 365 includes two products that covers all the most common forms of communication.
It goes without saying that an organisation’s network is a huge part of their IT infrastructure, given that most businesses rely on the internet on a daily basis. A small business should ensure that their network is not only very robust, but has enough bandwidth to support all of their internet-reliant activities.
According to TechQuarters, whose experience providing IT support North London businesses have relied on for many years now has meant they have spent a lot of time on networking solution, it is a good idea for organisations to ensure that their network supports the latest wireless technology. For instance, Wi-Fi 6 offers the greatest internet speeds (up to 9.6 gigabits per second). While it is unlikely that the average small business will be undertaking operations that max out Wi-Fi 6 speeds, but the high ceiling for speeds will ensure that an organisation’s network performance is not hindered as they grow.
Storage is another major component of a business’ IT infrastructure – particularly considering that the amount of data that businesses generate (and need to store securely) has grown exponentially in the last decade. Nowadays, storage can either be on-premise (e.g. data centres, storage arrays, etc.) or it can be cloud-based. Neither solution is better than the other, but according to TechQuarters, whichever you choose, it is important to be using the right solutions.
With on-premise storage, there are a number of ways that an organisation can ensure they’re getting the best capacity and the best speeds. Firstly, flash storage should be employed, as it is not only more robust, but much quicker. Secondly, on-premise, software-defined storage offers much greater versatility.
As for cloud-based storage, it is generally agreed that public cloud platforms are the best option for small businesses, because of the flexibility, scalability and security that is on offer.