You have a brilliant idea, a business plan, and maybe even some funding. Now, it’s time to consider the logistics of getting your startup off the ground. That includes thinking about the tech your company will use.
The term “tech” can encompass a lot in modern businesses. It includes everything from the user-facing apps you employ to the servers that support your whole business. Choosing an entire tech stack is an involved process that won’t be completed overnight. But this article can help you start strong.
Pick the Right Wi-Fi Provider
Business can’t happen without Wi-Fi. In a world where all business is conducted online, great Wi-Fi connectivity is a must.
You’re probably keeping a close eye on budget, but don’t just pick the cheapest package available for your location. Carefully review not only the speed available from local internet providers, but also the features and smart services they offer. Be sure to choose your routers and modems thoughtfully, as well.
If possible, look into a cloud-based business intelligence platform like Plume WorkPass that provides always-on connectivity and AI-powered security. A platform like this can even help you glean insights from your Wi-Fi data to help you optimize for growth.
Decide What Your Business Tech Needs to Do
Every business needs Wi-Fi. The rest of your tech, though, will be chosen depending on your business’s specific needs. Your next step is to go back to your business plan and identify exactly what tech is necessary to accomplish your goals.
Consider the back end as well as the front end. What will you require for data storage, and what kind of specs will you need from your servers? Even if you plan on outsourcing these tech underpinnings to the cloud, it’s good to have an idea of your requirements.
Then, determine what applications you’ll need keep your business running, like accounting and payroll apps. Once those are taken care of, you can start thinking about end-user apps for things like collaboration or content management.
For now, create a list of the types of tech solutions you’ll need. Choosing exact vendors comes further down the line.
Choose Between On-Premise or the Cloud (or Both)
Every business needs a data center. For some businesses, it’s an advantage to have that data center in the building, managed by their own IT professionals. For others, it makes more sense to outsource as much as possible, keeping all data storage and app hosting in the cloud. And for still others, it’s better to take a hybrid approach, with some on-premise servers and some cloud solutions. Which approach works best for you?
Most startups lean more toward the cloud data center model. Cloud hosting cuts down on up-front costs and removes the need to hire a team of specialized IT experts. Still, every startup is different, and it’s useful to think through the options and decide which model works best for you. If you plan on building your own apps or expect to handle sensitive proprietary data, you may want to consider a hybrid model.
Once you know what you need from your tech, it’s time to research vendors. Depending on your needs and your business, it likely makes the most sense to start your research with the foundations of your tech stack. This means your servers and storage; after those are squared away, you can gradually add the apps you need.
Take your time to carefully vet each option, and don’t hesitate to bring in experts to help. Whole articles could be written about how to select the best tech for each business need. No doubt, you’ll want to read a few of them as you do your research. Learning how a business tech stack works won’t hurt, either, even if you intend to outsource as much of it as possible.
Decide Between Company-Provided Devices or BYOD
Most businesses supply their employees with laptops, and some also provide them with phones or tablets. In recent years, though, many startups have embraced a concept called “bring your own device,” where employees use their personal devices for work.
BYOD is a great way for startups to save on costs. It also enables employees to be more flexible with how and when they work. However, there are some pros to company-owned devices, especially when it comes to security and privacy. If your employees will be regularly dealing with highly sensitive data, you may want it to stay on devices you control.
That said, BYOD can be secure with the help of the right software and the right access policies. Which option you choose will ultimately depend on the needs of your business and your employees.
Pay Attention to Cybersecurity
When it comes to cybercrime, new startups face just as much risk as large enterprises. It’s important to make sure you have cybersecurity baked in at every level when setting up your tech stack.
This means everything from securing your Wi-Fi network to installing antivirus software on company laptops. If employees will be using their own devices, enforce security measures like two-factor authentication for every company app they access. If you can afford it, next-gen cybersecurity measures like threat intelligence are worth the investment.
Be sure to also ask all cloud providers about their cybersecurity measures, and only sign with vendors who can provide detailed answers.
Look for Ways to Avoid Bloat
Given the lengthy list of tech needs businesses have, it can be easy to end up with a bloated tech stack. If you’re not careful, this can result in wasted resources and departmental silos. This is damaging to any company, but especially to a startup that needs to stay agile and nimble to succeed.
To avoid bloat, invest in software that can meet several needs at once, rather than one solution for each need. Also look for integrations so employees can easily work across apps. For example, consider a collaboration tool that integrates with a document management platform so employees can easily share content.
One of the biggest causes of silos and tech bloat is when companies fail to upgrade their tech stacks over the years. Keep your startup’s tech as nimble as the rest of your business by updating it as your business changes.
Getting your startup’s technology up and running can be a daunting task, but it’s a doable one. If you do your homework and follow these steps, you’ll be able to lay a tech foundation for a successful business.