Selecting the proper local business IT infrastructure is a critical decision that can significantly impact your business efficiency, productivity, and overall success. The biggest driver for IT budget increases of small businesses in 2021 was the need to upgrade IT infrastructure (57%), followed by increased security concerns (38%), employee growth (32%), business revenue increases (26%), increased priority on IT projects (26%). 
Choosing a solution that aligns with your specific needs and budget is essential. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make the right choice:
Start by understanding your business requirements. Identify what functions and tasks rely on IT infrastructure, such as email communication, data storage, website hosting, point-of-sale systems, and employee collaboration tools.
Determine how much you can realistically allocate to your IT infrastructure. Consider both upfront costs and ongoing maintenance expenses. Investing in IT can provide long-term cost savings and business growth opportunities.
Plan for growth by choosing an IT infrastructure that can scale with your business. Scalability ensures you won’t outgrow your technology too quickly, saving you from frequent upgrades.
Decide between cloud-based and on-premises solutions. Cloud solutions are often more cost-effective and offer flexibility, while on-premises solutions provide more control but may require higher initial investments.
Ensure you have reliable internet connectivity, as it’s the backbone of your local business IT infrastructure. Consider options like fiber optic, cable, or dedicated lines, depending on your location and budget.
Invest in a robust network infrastructure. Ensure your local area network (LAN) and Wi-Fi networks are secure and capable of handling your business’s data traffic.
Choose the right hardware components, such as servers, computers, printers, and networking equipment. Assess your specific needs to avoid overspending on unnecessary equipment.
Select software applications and tools that streamline your business operations. Look for industry-specific software or cloud-based solutions that offer flexibility and scalability.
Implement a reliable data backup and security strategy to protect your sensitive information. This includes regular backups, antivirus software, firewalls, and employee training on cybersecurity best practices.
Decide whether to manage your local business IT infrastructure in-house or use managed IT services. Managed services can be cost-effective and provide expertise, while in-house IT offers more control.
Ensure that your IT infrastructure complies with relevant industry regulations and data protection laws, such as GDPR or HIPAA, if applicable to your business.
Research and select reputable vendors and service providers. Consider factors like reliability, customer support, and their ability to meet your business’s unique needs.
Develop a disaster recovery plan to mitigate the impact of unexpected events like data breaches, hardware failures, or natural disasters. Regularly test and update this plan.
Invest in training for your employees to use your local business IT infrastructure efficiently. Ensure you have access to reliable technical support when issues arise.
Periodically review your IT infrastructure to ensure it continues to meet your business needs and remains within budget. Make adjustments and upgrades as necessary.
Remember that choosing the right IT infrastructure is an ongoing process. Your IT needs will change as your business evolves, so staying flexible and adapting your infrastructure is crucial. Consulting with IT experts or managed service providers can also be valuable in making informed decisions tailored to your local business’s unique requirements.
At NeverBlue IT, we believe it should be people first, then computers. Our goal is to learn how we can support you in doing your job better than ever. We can supplement your existing IT team—supporting you with help desk, high-end IT support, special projects, or all three—or you can even hire one of our technicians to be with you full-time. Consider us your IT ally.