Bringing A Fully-Equipped IT Department To Small Businesses
Is your business feeling the growing pains of expansion? Small businesses are in that challenging spot of being too big for residential, home, or hobby services, but too small to justify major enterprise equipment. If the idea of hiring a whole Information Technology staff and buying big, expensive servers sounds like a painful, but necessary sacrifice...well, stop what you're doing before someone gets hurt. It's not necessary, and a few computer system scaling tips can help you figure out what you actually need for a business that isn't quite enterprise-level yet.
Workstation And Storage Planning
The small business that just needs workstations for handling paperwork and performing research is the easiest type to set up, but there are a few not-so-common sense additions to make your layout more safe and efficient. First, an overview of the normal layout.
Every employee that needs to perform a digital task needs either a workstation or dock. You can benefit from the increasingly powerful and cheaper tech situation in business and households by allowing employees to bring their own devices to work in their own way, but you should still have workstations.
These workstations are connected to the work internet via router connection. At the small business level, you can do well with the same routers given by residential internet services. To connect more computers, you simply add a switch.
This is where things get a bit more advanced.
A switch is basically an extension cable for internet connections. Instead of being limited to the 4 or 8 ports on the back of the modem/router for the same number of computers, you can run a cable from the router to a switch that has 16, 32, or more ports.
At that point, you can star adding additional services to your business network. Afraid of a single computer losing data when it crashes? You can buy a single computer dedicated to storing information--or a set of hard drives in a big cluster that do the job at a much higher level. You can even make a policy that all work needs to be sent to a share drive--call it the S drive for now--with specific, security-locked folders for each employee.
Now you're getting pretty close to what larger companies have to do, and you don't have to spend a lot of money at once. Just add more drives and switches as needed.
It's Starting To Get Messy. Now What?
One sure sign of a changing from a small business to a medium business or an enterprise is when nothing fits anymore. The building doesn't hold enough equipment, the employees are cramped, the internet isn't fast enough, and the cables from your network are turning into a tangled mess.
At the initial setup and at this messy point, a computer systems integration professional can help you expand safely. Once you go beyond a single 32 or 64-port switch, there are a few configuration changes to make sure that all of your computers are efficiently moving data around and getting a fair shake.
This means implementing policies about what data comes first, as well as splitting off the data entry points. Instead of everyone going to a single router, additional routers can be added to divide the load.
Contact a systems integration professional, like one from SB Technologies LLC, to discuss where your tech is now, along with a framework to expand at the pace of a comfortable budget.