It’s not uncommon for businesses to use an assortment of technologies to meet their various needs. However, this often leads to increased complexity, inefficiency, and security risks, especially for small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that may not have the budget to invest in a single, comprehensive solution.
Using different hardware, software, and platforms from different vendors can create compatibility issues that hamper productivity and collaboration, and make it more difficult and costly to keep systems up to date and secure. Fortunately, IT standardization can help address these challenges by consolidating and simplifying your technology infrastructure.
Here are five key reasons your SMB should standardize its IT.
1. To improve collaboration and productivity
When everyone is using the same technology, it’s easier to share information and work together. For example, if your sales team is using a customer relationship management (CRM) system that’s not compatible with the accounting software your finance team uses, it can be difficult to get accurate data for sales forecasting and invoicing. But if you standardize on a single CRM platform, everyone can access the same information in real time, which can help improve decision-making and coordination across both teams.
Another way standardization can improve productivity is by reducing the need for multiple training sessions on different technologies. When you have a more streamlined IT infrastructure, your employees can spend less time learning how to use new systems and more time actually using them.
2. To enhance security
Standardizing your IT can help you better secure your data and systems. When you have disparate technologies from different vendors, it can be difficult to apply consistent security policies and procedures. This can leave your SMB vulnerable to cyberattacks.
If you use a single platform for all your critical applications and data, you can more easily deploy security measures that will protect everything in one go. Most comprehensive solutions also come with built-in security features, such as encryption and user authentication, which can further bolster your SMB’s cyber defenses.
3. To reduce the risk of noncompliance
Depending on your industry, you may be subject to regulations that require certain security and privacy controls. Operating on multiple platforms can make it difficult to meet these compliance requirements, as you may need to implement different controls to adequately secure each system.
IT standardization can help you more easily comply with industry regulations by giving you a single platform on which to implement the necessary security measures. There are also many comprehensive solutions that come with preconfigured compliance features, which can save you time and effort in meeting your obligations.
4. To lower support and maintenance costs
Maintaining a complex IT infrastructure can be costly since you may need to engage multiple vendors for support and updates. Not only that, but troubleshooting issues can be time-consuming and may require specialized skills that your in-house IT staff may not have.
When you standardize your IT, you can reduce your support and maintenance costs by working with a single vendor for all your needs. This means you’ll only need to contact one company when something goes wrong, and you can be confident that they’ll have the expertise to resolve any issues quickly and efficiently.
5. To reduce the burden on IT staff
Juggling multiple technologies from different vendors can be a big headache for your IT team. They may need to constantly troubleshoot compatibility issues and keep up with multiple vendor release cycles. This can take them away from more strategic tasks, such as developing new business applications or working on initiatives to improve customer service.
Standardizing your IT can help free up your IT staff’s time by giving them a simpler infrastructure to manage. With fewer technologies to support, they can focus on essential tasks that help your business grow.
If you need help getting started with IT standardization, Refresh Technologies can assist you. Our team of experts can assess your current IT environment and recommend the best solutions for your needs. We can also provide ongoing support to help you keep your infrastructure running smoothly. Contact us today to learn more.