For growing start-ups, there are a lot of things to consider at the start. How are you going to make money? What do you need to get started? Jelle Frank van der Zwet of Interxion has five essential tips to get you on the right road.
For the majority of start-ups, getting the business going is their main focus, as it should be. Developing the product, getting ready to market, generating investment and pushing sales are all top priorities in those first couple of weeks, months and beyond.
IT management and infrastructure do not tend to be a focus in those early stages. They tend to come to the fore when a company is ready to hyperscale, and unfortunately for many organisations, it is at this time that IT infrastructure problems can come to light.
There are a number of need-to-know items for growing start-ups when it comes to managing IT infrastructure.
The word ‘expert’ often instils fear into many start-up founders when they think of the cost of said expert. However, just as when it comes to a doctor we don’t scrimp on medical bills, your IT future deserves the same consideration. Start-up founders should do their research, contact and meet with various IT providers, so they can develop a sense of the different options available beyond simply buying a cloud service.
Most providers will be happy to sit down with start-up founders to explain their services and what they believe the organisation should be looking at for IT infrastructure management. This advice may not be relevant right now, but could come into play very quickly as the organisation starts to scale.
Find out what you need
While this sounds simple, for those in the IT industry, and in particular for those in other sectors, knowing what you need from your IT partner is vital. This information will help you decide if an online service will meet your needs or if you need to consider hybrid storage options or work with a data centre provider. Once you have met with potential partners, take the time to think about the IT services your organisation needs right now and in the next three to five years. Make sure the IT service you decide to go with can provide you with these services, or has a partner who can.
Watch the terms and conditions
Whether the organisation decides to partner with an online data management tool or engage with an IT infrastructure provider, reviewing the T&Cs is vitally important to ensure the organisation is getting the service they need. Some things to consider include the service levels covered – if something goes wrong, do you have a point of contact? Is this a scalable option which you can use into the future or is it limited?
Many of your potential new clients may require you to demonstrate that your IT management provider meets certain industry standards. This could be the difference between winning new business or not, so make sure your provider meets your industry standards and customer expectations.
On the flip side of the coin, there is often temptation to invest in new apps or tools, which may be very exciting and look impressive, but they may not contribute overly to the company’s goals and services. Start-ups need to be smart; know the tools you cannot live without, the ones you would like if budget allowed and the products you want when you reach those significant milestones. It’s worth noting that being flexible and ready to change from the original plan is vital when it comes to IT infrastructure management.
Use your data
One of the most important things start-up businesses need to think about when it comes to their data is how they analyse it and use it to further enhance their business. If a growing start-up utilises their data properly, there are real opportunities to maximise these insights to help the business grow.
Jelle Frank van der Zwet is the director of business development at Interxion.