No matter what kind of business you plan to set up or what type of product you intend to sell, technology is bound to play a role. The vitality of today’s business world is only possible because of the technology that is available to us. Making sure you have the right elements in place from the beginning is essential to future success.
These are just some of the fundamental technologies you will need to have in place for your start-up to succeed.
Hardware to Make Your Start-up Flexible From the Beginning
Once upon a time, all businesses filled their offices with homogeneous desktop computers laid out in neat, regular cubicles. Although the trusty desktop computer isn’t dead yet, today businesses tend to be more fluid. Hot-desking, remote and mobile working are forming more of the business mix. This means having the appropriate technology available.
This technology mixture will be formed from desktops, laptops and tablets. Desktops will need to be small, ideally as wireless as possible and energy efficient. Processing power is not as critical as it once was but a degree of future-proofing should ensure that your desktops can accommodate critical disruptive technologies as they develop.
Laptops are likely to be used by mobile workers which means video conferencing capabilities are essential. A high quality camera, display, microphone and set of speakers ensures that none of the nuances of a video conversation are lost.
The type of business will determine how tablets are utilised. They are particularly versatile pieces of technology, used as everything from check out tills to stock room inventory panels. You are likely to find a unique or unexpected use for tablets in your own business.
Accommodate for this flexibility with reasonably powerful tablets that are fully compatible with the other technology in your office.
Keeping Computers and Office Infrastructure Safe and Secure
Maintaining this hardware and keeping it in good working order is one of the biggest challenges start-ups face and the one they most often overlook. IT services are expensive, especially when repairing damage rather than preventing it.
Few non-tech start-ups can afford dedicated IT staff however. If they are lucky, a tech-savvy staff member will agree to double as IT staff but this is not a reliable solution. Fortunately many companies now offer hardware and software maintenance as a service at relatively affordable prices. These services will also typically include disaster prevention and recovery to minimise the effects of IT failures.
Options for Office Suites and Other Vital Software
After having paid for an office full of hardware many business owners understandably become exasperated when they realise how much they will have to pay for the software to run them. Operating systems are typically included with hardware but office suites and other basic office utility software can be a substantial additional expense.
Fortunately there are more affordable options available. Some opens source software is even available for free. Common drawbacks of these programs include compatibility issues and the time it takes for staff to become familiar with the interface. Make sure that these issues don’t outweigh the cost of paying for licensed software.
Many formerly licensed software packages are now offered as a service rather than a licensed product. This means paying a regular subscription rather than a large one-off fee. This is typically much more affordable for start-ups. Software as a service usually has the added benefits of cloud sharing and storage as well as ongoing support.
Another software solution that start-ups should at the very least consider is some form of Business Intelligence Software (BIS). This software is usually incorporated into an accounting software package. Recording critical data BIS uses powerful analytics to provide you with insights and forecasts for your business.
The way in which you use technology in your start-up will determine how flexible, dynamic and capable your business will be. By seeing technology as a powerful utility rather than a necessary expense you will be able to use it to the greatest effect with the greatest success.
Davin Gaffney writes professionally on a diverse range of topics with a particular interest in technology, marketing and how the two come together. This blog post was written on behalf of Eurieka.ie.