Here, Lee Biggins explores some key ways to create an efficient IT function from the beginning of your company.
Your IT department may not be on your list of priorities as a start-up, but it most definitely should be. With the world so heavily invested in technology today, you need to ensure that you have an effective tech team from the beginning no matter how tech-savvy you are personally. Investing in your IT department doesn’t mean buying all the latest technological equipment either, it filters through to having knowledgeable professionals that can provide guidance when purchasing technology to make sure your start-up can function optimally.
We made great efforts to scale our IT department when we were a start-up. I had only basic knowledge about the specifics of technology at this stage, but I knew what I wanted it to do in order to aid the business. Thankfully, my fellow co-founder was more knowledgeable than myself in this area, but that doesn’t mean it was a smooth ride when we started.
At the time of building the company, we had a strong plan for how we wanted to develop the website. And as the company has rapidly grown, the job site experienced growing pains as our original structure didn’t have enough staying power for the business. This was a particular nuisance for us, but thankfully by immersing ourselves in the technologies and working closely with my talented IT team, we’ve overcome the challenge.
Scaling your IT department as a start-up is not a guaranteed way to avoid hiccups, but it is sure to ease the strain as your company grows. Here are some key ways to create an efficient IT department from the beginning.
Recruit the right staff
Recruiting the right staff is essential for start-ups because it is only a small company with many responsibilities. It is vital that you are taking on board professionals who are educated in the field and can aid your plans for growth and success. You need to make sure that you are steering clear of ‘reactive’ hires because you want to fill vacancies quickly as this can potentially cause a lot of financial damage. It’s advisable to take your time and make sure that you are recruiting professionals for your IT team that can assist with your specific technological needs. Simultaneously, you need to consider if they are going to fit in with the business; what are their aspirations and will they be a committed member of your business’ IT department?
Obtain the technology you need
As a start-up you need to invest in the right technology so that you can carry out the plans for your business effectively. As a new business, you have not necessarily had any previous experience with the technology you need in this environment. Therefore it is essential that you thoroughly research technology potentially suitable for your company and simultaneously, the vendors that supply it.
Involve IT staff in business decisions
Even with copious amounts of research, you may not be as technologically aware as your new IT recruits. You should therefore consider involving them in business decisions. From advice on software and hardware, to tips on how to create and manage your website, your tech team’s input is valuable to your business’ success. Not only can IT staff help create the optimum tech conditions for the company, but their valuable knowledge can be used to aid your learning about the digital world. A sure-fire way to prepare for your company’s evolution.
Scaling your IT department as a start-up is also important to ensure disaster prevention. You need to make sure that you are up to date on security procedures and privacy licences to ensure that your business’ technology and anything you have online is safe. In the same vein, you need to be aware of data retention methods so that your company remains secure and protected in the event of a digital catastrophe. By investing in these measures as a start-up, your business stands a better chance of maintaining a strong cyber defence mechanism in the long run.
Manage your policy
No matter what stage your business is at, a quality one will always have separate departments with different roles and responsibilities for staff. As a start-up, there may be only a small number of employees, causing a blur between these departments, but it is recommended not to let duties overlap too much to avoid a debacle. For example, setting up a new printer may seem like an easy task that anyone can complete. However, you should leave it to your tech team. If something goes wrong they’re only going to have to fix it anyway.
Similarly, make sure your network policy protocol is efficient in order to protect all the data and avoid mistakes. Staff do not necessarily need access to all the resources on the network. It is therefore advisable to restrict staff access depending on their department and level of seniority. As a result, you remove the potential for IT problems. This is good practice for the future as your company and workforce expands.
As the technological world rapidly advances, it is even more important for start-ups to be in tune with its changes and developments. Bear in mind what new technology your business could benefit from to enable growth. Similarly, stay updated on regulatory compliance policies to ensure that your business is protected and it can grow in the right direction.
Lee Biggins is the founder of CV-Library.