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When setting up a small business, you consult with a legal expert to determine how to properly classify your company. You hire an accountant to be sure you’re handling your payroll taxes correctly and you likely seek out the expertise of other small business owners when making your initial hires. In addition to these guides, you will want to invest in IT consulting.

You may think that because you’re starting out with a couple of laptops, some smartphones and a few tablets, you don’t need the level of sophistication implied by IT consulting. After all, you know how to work these devices; you interact with them every day. The problem is that if you don’t have the right architecture and framework for what you need in the future, you’ll pay for it later.

Don’t assume that because you use technology every day that you’re equipped to design the architecture of your new business. In the 2018 Insight Intelligent Technology Index, 65% of IT leaders for small businesses said that upgrading existing hardware and software was their biggest challenge.

When a small business determines that its current infrastructure won’t support growth, there are often some major interoperability challenges. To avoid these kinds of problems in the future, business owners can adopt these best practices:

Just starting out? Opt for the cloud. Rather than investing heavily in hardware and playing a guessing game with how many software licenses you should purchase, invest instead in cloud solutions. Scalable, flexible and requiring little in the way of hardware, cloud solutions provide the features and tools you want while you pay only for the number of users you need.

Already set up? Opt for the cloud when it’s time to upgrade. Maybe you’ve already invested in on-premises systems, but the provider may have a cloud version already available that makes it easy to make the shift.

Invest in technology to attract the best talent. One of the benefits of IT consulting is that it can help you improve the performance of your systems and attract ideal candidates. While productivity and security are two of the main reasons behind most technology upgrades, it’s also an important factor for candidates determining where to work. In today’s low-unemployment market, employees are now choosing where they want to work, not just looking for any job, anywhere.

It’s good to note that most employees will put up with outdated systems, as long as they run relatively quickly. This may mean checking your network performance or investing in more bandwidth.

All IT consulting sessions should begin with determining what your goals are or what you are trying to achieve, and where you need assistance in augmenting your own in-house capabilities.

If you’re struggling with inadequate speed and performance, or you’re a small business owner just starting out, contact us at Access One. We can provide guidance through a transition to a cloud system or comprehensive IT consulting, customized to fit your needs.