As your business expands, it’s important to make sure that you are setting up the infrastructure you need to continue delivering the products and services you provide. While sudden growth can provide an immediate boost, expansion can also overload your existing systems, staff, processes, and technology. Planning ahead by investing in scalable technology can enable your company to grow and thrive at the speed of global business.
Most companies have numerous independent systems that they have added piecemeal as their needs have changed or as new technology is introduced. These include PBX telephone systems, software packages or subscriptions, client management systems, accounts payable/billing systems, inventory management, disaster recovery services, CRM/client communication services, HR, website management, shipping, and more. Often, these systems don’t integrate well, creating data silos that hamper efficiency and multiply communication problems. As a company grows, these inefficiencies and problems snowball, leading to system failures, costly downtime, and hurried, inadequate repairs.
Planning and implementing a comprehensive, coordinated system using scalable technology can not only help your business keep up with growth but also allow you to keep up with the latest tech developments. Cloud-based solutions are key components in an integrated overall business tech strategy. SaaS, DRaaS, UCaaS, and other cloud-based services provide users with constantly updated resources, patches, and top-notch security measures. These platforms allow access to enormous resources and infrastructure using a simple internet connection. They also eliminate many of the costs associated with upgrading software and hardware, help minimize downtime, and significantly reduce stress for everyone in your organization, from C-suite executives to IT department professionals.
One of the biggest advantages of scalable technology is the ability to expand or contract in concert with your business. Economic fluctuations can mean higher or lower sales and changing costs of doing business, independent of projected growth plans. Growth may happen more quickly than you anticipate, or it may take a longer, steadier upward trajectory. Your overall tech strategy should allow you to do business most efficiently at all points of the curve, accommodating for both growth and contraction.
Cloud-based solutions, open-source software, and scalable platforms allow you to have access to the most appropriate, most economical resources when business is booming but not waste money when those resources are not needed. Public cloud resources allow on-demand, dynamic, infinite scalability. AWS, Google, Azure, and other providers own and manage physical data centers and resources; users pay to access these platforms and resources as necessary to run their workloads. Because public cloud users share the cost of infrastructure and pay only for the resources they use, overhead costs are low, and users have access to essentially limitless capabilities. As your business needs grow, these platforms help you scale up and scale out at the same time.
Building your systems with scalability in mind also allows you to quickly respond to changes in customer demographics, current events, or global needs and increase resources where needed. The wildly unpredictable events of 2020 caused sharp, unexpected rises and falls in consumer spending and dramatically changed the market focus. Businesses that had not planned their systems to be scalable experienced suddenly magnified demand that brought their operations to a standstill. An intelligently designed scalable system builds in options to accommodate this kind of exponential growth without missing a beat.
In addition to responding to the changing landscape of technology and the unpredictability of the outside world, building in scalability gives your company freedom and flexibility. As your operations grow, your business may shift its focus in ways you do not currently anticipate. Your manufacturing processes, resources, or products may change in response to market demands. Your workforce may change quickly and significantly, as has happened over the past year with many more workers teleworking. Even your main company objective may shift cataclysmically.
Pivoting the focus of the company may change your technology needs significantly, and growth may happen quickly in new areas. If your business cannot flexibly adapt to change, it may not survive. With the right applications and management, however, systems that are capable of true scalability can help your business not just survive but thrive.
It can be difficult to pause forward progress and conduct a company-wide review of your systems. If you are poised for expansion and growth, however, it is vital to take the time to evaluate your current technology and explore new solutions. New, coordinated technology can not only allow you to accommodate much higher volumes in every part of your business but also save you money and increase efficiency at your current levels.
An experienced professional can help you evaluate your current business systems and design a business technology plan to optimize your current operations and plan for future growth. They can identify where you can make adjustments and connect you with the software, hardware, and service providers that will work best for you. They can also help you identify the staff and support that you will need to support your systems and how you can automate services most efficiently. Building in this scalability now can help you establish a secure, stable foundation for your company’s future success.
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