Investing in a robust IT infrastructure is critical for start-ups in Surrey. But trying to get a new business off the ground and implementing an effective IT strategy with the right structure can be a tough ask on a limited budget.
Consequently, start-up businesses often face various IT problems that can hinder their operations and growth. Common challenges include security risks, planning for scale and accommodating experienced IT support professionals on your payroll.
You can avoid many of these problems — and more — by seeking the help of IT support professionals in Surrey. But before we get into that, let’s take a look at the critical IT infrastructure start-ups in Surrey should not go without.
IT Hardware for Start-Ups In Surrey
Virtually every business needs IT hardware of some description. Laptops, desktops, monitors, keyboards, mice, printers, photocopiers, smartphones and tablets and other peripherals necessary for your employees to perform their duties are usually relevant.
The good news is you probably don’t need a fax.
If you plump for cloud-computing solutions you can also save a tidy sum on servers and storage devices. You will need networking hardware though. This is essential for connecting devices throughout the workplace.
Networking infrastructure includes routers, switches, and cabling. Ensure the networking equipment is capable of handling the expected network traffic and supports necessary security features.
We also recommend a disaster recovery and business continuity plan that legislates how to get your business up and running in the event of a power outage or other disaster such as a fire or flood.
Check out our article for more details about how to draft a disaster recovery and business continuity plan.
Operating System and Software
Software applications and platforms that facilitate the functionality of your business are also essentials. Integrating these systems and ensuring compatibility can be a challenge, leading to data silos, inefficiencies, and manual workarounds.
Choose an operating system (e.g., Windows, macOS, Linux) and essential software applications required for your business operations that may be determined by the productivity suite (e.g., Microsoft Office, Apple MacOS, Google Workspace) you choose, although not in every case.
For example, you may have an Apple MacBook laptop but find that Google Workspace provides collaboration tools and project management software that is more suited to your business.
However, when you mix and match like this, you are more likely to run into difficulties or perform workarounds like converting Apple pages into Microsoft Word. Because the Big Tech companies want businesses to subscribe to their entire portfolio of services, they create hurdles for users that have adopted software from third parties.
This also happens when you’re using digital tools provided by lesser-known tech companies. And most businesses inevitably invest in specialist third-party tools that have more features than the Big tech companies offer.
But mixing and matching a raft of third-party software can cause compatibility issues and bring your entire IT infrastructure to a grinding halt. Functionality issues can result in the software wherein certain features may be unavailable.
The worst case scenario — and often the actual case scenario — is that the software will crash your system or produce errors during operation. This can hinder productivity and disrupt business processes.
Incompatibility between software applications can also cause data inconsistencies or errors when transferring or sharing data between systems. This can lead to inaccurate or incomplete information, affecting decision-making and overall business operations.
Integrating different software applications can also create havoc and require a manual workaround which can be time-consuming, prone to errors, and result in inefficiencies and duplication which eats into your productivity and storage capacity.
Incompatibility issues usually require input from IT support professionals with experience in troubleshooting software that does not play nice. Inexperienced IT professionals may need to spend time diagnosing and resolving compatibility problems which can be costly and eat into your budget which would be better spent in other areas of your business.
We recommend thoroughly researching your software requirements and trying to determine the risk of encountering compatibility issues before purchasing or implementing new software.
Seek guidance from software vendors, consultants, or IT experts who can provide insights into compatibility issues and recommend suitable solutions. Then test compatibility in a controlled environment before deploying it on a larger scale.
Alternatively, speak with our experienced and knowledgeable IT support professionals in Surrey. We can save you ample time performing the research yourself with a quick phone call to our IT consultants.
We can also ensure that your software applications are kept up to date with the latest patches, updates, and security fixes. This can help mitigate compatibility issues and ensure optimal performance and security.
Establishing a reliable network infrastructure is crucial for start-ups in Surrey. Determine the specific network requirements you need, then factor in the number of users, devices, expected network traffic, and types of applications and services that will be used.
All these considerations are important to understand before implementing a network infrastructure. Ideally, you should plan the network topology first. Decide whether a flat network or a segmented network (using VLANs or subnets) is more appropriate, then plan the physical layout.
Planning an IT network should include computers, servers, routers, switches, firewalls, wireless access points, and cabling infrastructure. Also consider factors such as scalability, performance, security features, and future expansion plans.
Protection for your networks should also be included in the planning stages. Security measures include configuring firewalls, implementing intrusion detection and prevention systems, setting up virtual private networks (VPNs) for secure remote access, and ensuring secure wireless network configurations.
The shift towards remote working models has become prevalent in Surrey since the pandemic. A flexible IT infrastructure enables remote access, secure connectivity, and collaboration tools to support a distributed workforce. It allows employees to access company resources from anywhere, facilitating productivity and maintaining business continuity.
If your start-up relies on real-time applications or services, prioritise network traffic using Quality of Service (QoS) settings. This helps ensure that critical traffic, such as voice or video conferencing, receives sufficient bandwidth and a higher quality of service.
Other considerations include network monitoring, installing secure wireless networks (i.e enabling encryption such as WPA2 or WPA3), how you will perform regular maintenance tasks, such as firmware updates for networking devices, patch management, and equipment inspection, how you will create, store and maintain relevant documentation of your network infrastructure, including network diagrams, IP addressing schemes, configurations, and security policies.
It’s advisable to work with experienced network engineers or IT professionals in Surrey who can assist in designing and implementing a reliable network infrastructure tailored to your start-up’s specific needs.
A stable and high-speed internet connection to support your day-to-day operations and a priority. Not only do start-ups in Surrey rely on high-speed internet that is always available for productivity and profitability, but internet connections with low latency are just annoying.
The last thing you need is a frustrated workforce that is constantly complaining their workflow is being disrupted by a sub-standard internet connection.
High-speed internet enables faster and more efficient communication, collaboration, and data transfer. This helps employees complete tasks more quickly, leading to improved productivity and workflow.
With high-speed internet, employees can download and upload files, access cloud-based applications, conduct online research without significant delays and enjoy seamless communication in real time.
High-speed internet is also crucial for e-commerce start-ups in Surrey. It ensures fast and secures online transactions, smooth website browsing, and efficient inventory management. It also enables start-ups to leverage online marketing channels effectively, reach a wider audience, and compete in the digital marketplace.
Data Storage and Backup
Start-ups generate and handle a significant amount of data. Ensuring proper data storage, backup, and recovery mechanisms can be challenging, especially without a dedicated IT team.
Establishing efficient data management practices and complying with relevant data protection regulations (e.g., GDPR, CCPA) can pose difficulties.
We recommend setting up data storage solutions in the cloud as they are less expensive, require less maintenance and have less space than on-premise servers.
Consult IT support professionals in Surrey For Security Measures
Implementing robust security measures to protect your start-up from cyber threats is an unfortunate but much-needed requirement for digital enterprises.
Security measures include installing firewalls, antivirus software, intrusion detection systems, secure access controls, and regular software updates. Consider employing encryption techniques for sensitive data and implementing multi-factor authentication for added security.
Providing you have the basics in place, you don’t need to go overboard on your IT security budget. Our IT support professionals in Surrey can help you to implement the most cost-effective solutions. In the meantime, take a look at our article that explains everything you need: Cybersecurity Solutions Don’t Have To Be Expensive.
Collaboration and Communication Tools
Collaboration and communication tools offer numerous benefits for start-ups and businesses. So utilise as many free tools as you can that enable your workforce to perform specific tasks such as file sharing, video conferencing and project management.
Free tools do, of course, have limitations. So you may have to use two or three tools to do one job. Other times you might be better served purchasing the premium package. They’re not very expensive.
For example, rather than using Trello, Slack and Skype for businesses that have small fees, Microsoft 365 would be a better option because you get more bang for your buck.
The ability to access an entire toolbox from a central location also increases productivity and eliminates the risk of downtime caused by various pieces of conflicting software.
Build An IT Infrastructure That Is Scalable and Flexible
A scalable and flexible IT infrastructure fosters agility and innovation within your start-up. It allows for quick experimentation, testing new ideas, and rapidly adapting to changing market conditions. This agility enables you to seize opportunities, respond to customer needs faster, and stay ahead in a competitive business environment.
Start-ups in Surrey that are planning for rapid growth need to think ahead about how they will scale IT infrastructure. It will be far easier and cost-effective if you install an IT infrastructure that allows you to easily accommodate increasing demands ahead of time as opposed to reactionary solutions when the same comes.
Whether you need to scale up the number of users you’re adding to your business network, expand your customer base, or process larger volumes of data, considering scalability from the outset ensures that your infrastructure can handle the increased workload without compromising performance or causing downtime.
The purpose of scalability is to allow you to optimise your IT resources and avoid over-provisioning or underutilising resources you are paying for when you don’t need them.
With a scalable framework built into your IT infrastructure, you can scale up or down based on your current needs, avoiding unnecessary hardware or software investments. This flexibility helps you manage costs effectively and align your IT expenses with your business growth.
Moreover, technology is constantly evolving, and new tools and services emerge regularly. A flexible IT infrastructure allows you to adopt and integrate new technologies smoothly and take advantage of innovative solutions, leveraging cloud services which ensure you remain competitive or put you ahead of the curve.
Managed IT Support Professionals in Surrey
It’s important for start-up founders to prioritise IT planning and allocate sufficient resources to address these potential issues and ensure a smooth technology infrastructure that supports their business goals.
But no matter what you do, expect to face IT problems in the early stages of your enterprise — and that could prove costly. You can avoid many problems by addressing the challenges from the very beginning.
To save time and money, start-ups should look to take advantage of managed IT support professionals in Surrey. Micro Pro enable you to leverage cloud-based solutions, adopt cost-effective software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications, and implement proactive security measures.
We appreciate that start-ups typically have limited access to IT expertise. To help you manage your budget we provide customised IT infrastructure solutions that work for your business without overstretching your budget.
Our highly experienced and knowledgeable IT support professionals in Surrey will help you to troubleshoot technical issues, manage software and hardware upgrades, and implement complex IT solutions that may require external support or hiring additional IT professionals, which can strain the budget.
Remember that the IT infrastructure recommendations described above are general considerations. Your specific requirements will depend on the nature of your start-up, industry, and growth plans. Speak with our IT consultants for tailored solutions and guidance.