The IT you Need for your New Office – a Quick Guide for first-time Business Owners

There is a lot of advice out there for new business owners, but the IT infrastructure you put in place is the beating heart of your business. This will not only be running all your computers but most likely a hosted phone system will running off the same IT network. 

No two businesses are the same, so it is hard to find one guide that can tell you everything. There is nothing better than an in-depth knowledge of IT networks, but you don’t have to be an IT expert to know what your new office needs in term of IT requirements – and this quick guide should help you get the basics right from day one.

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IT Network

A Business IT network links and then connects your devices to – and usually through – the internet. Once your devices are connected there are an array of useful business functions available to you, including:

Storage – Rather than having your data saved independently on each computer, keeping your business data in one place allows so-ordinated access for your whole workforce 

Remote Access – Certain roles require people to be in the field or away from the office.     Done properly you should still be able to access your IT network remotely with the same level of security as if they were still in the office

Applications – Every company will have certain applications that are essential to their daily activity – such as controlling a machine. By controlling these systems through a network, everybody can access them as requires

Sharing Accessories – This is one of the most basic functions of all business IT networks and allows for accessories like printers to be quickly available to everyone

Hosted Phones

The days of clunky phones with metres of wire trailing across the office and waiting 3 days for a technician to come on-site to fix a problem are long gone. Hosted phone systems run off your IT infrastructure and allow telephone calls to come through the computers as well a large range of functionality in other areas of the business such as:

Data Input – For customers making payments over the phone, they can just enter their details through the phone system

Voice Recognition – This can improve security and customer experience

Call Forwarding & Routing – Allowing the customer the option of directing their call to where it needs to go 

Information Services – FAQ’s as well as business information like opening times can be available via this system

Managed Service Provider

A Managed Service Provider (MSP) takes all the worry of recruiting and staffing an IT department to look after your IT Network. With an MSP you get a guaranteed level of service via special agreements (Usually called an ‘SLA’) meaning both you -and your MSP – know exactly what is expected. 

Any downtime from your IT network can potentially cost you 5 figures and upwards, and so making sure that if this happens you have experts on hand to fix this for you – without having to have the cost and the hassle of recruiting, training and paying a team of experts to work in-house. You know they are there when you need them – and like an emergency service for your IT network – they will come and do what they do best if called upon

Starting up a business is tough, but it is imperative the IT is done correctly. If you get this wrong to start with then this could cost your business dearly in the future both financially and in terms of time and resources – and could be almost impossible to put right – done well, your business can hit the ground running and be a success from the start.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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