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Is your business’s infrastructure sound?

March 30th, 2018

Is your business’s infrastructure sound?

As businesses across the country enjoy lower corporate tax rates and other benefits of tax reform, they’ll start to look at ways to reinvest that saved money in their business. When forecasting and planning purchases, many will want to assess their own infrastructure in a broad sense, and consider what business upgrades they need to make. This involves more than making repairs to keep things operational. It means investing in the latest technologies and equipment, from green energy to automated software, to make you more competitive and lead to a more cost-effective operation.

That makes 2018 a great year to invest in new equipment, and here are some key areas of infrastructure to consider when deciding on your next purchase.

IT is among the most important business upgrades:

IT is one of the most important parts of a modern business’s infrastructure, and it’s also among the easiest to let slide. IT is complicated, and let’s face it, it’s hard to keep up with all the rapid changes and advances. Often, businesses settle into the “it’s good enough” mentality and stick with what they have because it works and is functional.

Even as late as 2016, there were reports of major government agencies operating off MS-DOS and using floppy disks. That’s pretty far gone, and it’s unlikely in the competitive business world.

You want your IT infrastructure to complement your business and your business’s goals. Smaller companies may need to hire someone or consult with a third-party IT firm to decide what software they need to invest in to stay competitive. Each industry will have their own software needs, and with new software often comes new hardware, network capabilities and other components that make up your digital infrastructure.

Reduce building and operation costs:

It’s often the case that businesses focus so many resources on their direct business practices, producing a product or service, delivering it to market, and constantly trying to perfect the processes and edge out their competitors, that not enough gets invested in their home base.

It might be time to do an audit and find out where you can cut operating costs in areas such as waste management and energy use.

Depending on your priorities, you can make small tweaks or large overhauls. An easy and relatively budget-friendly step like replacing existing light fixtures with incandescent lights can dramatically cut your energy bill. The same goes for installing so-called smart thermostats and sensors that turn off lights, lower temperatures and reduce energy use when someone is not in a certain location in the building.

Invest in your fleet:

Maintaining good equipment practices is key to a healthy business infrastructure. For those in the construction industry, or anyone who works in shipping, moving, delivery or countless other industries, maintaining a fleet that is reliable and up-to-date is at the heart of a healthy business.

As cars have become a hybrid of computer and machines in the past decade, so have innovations in software and sensors and automation given way to a “smart fleet.”

With modern, digital aids, companies can better manage their fleet, detect maintenance issues before they become a problem and increase overall efficiency.

Adapt to the changing business environment

Think of your lines of communication as the roads, rails, planes and ships of your business. In the global marketplace, you need your communication infrastructure to be top notch. If you’re just using a telephone and a landline, it’s like using a mule and a cart to reach customers.

In upgrading your communication’s infrastructure, the name of the game is versatility. Companies need to have a range of communication methods to effectively work with vendors, reach customers and grow.

A company’s communication systems include everything from software to allow for screen sharing to physical spaces for meetings and collaboration. The question to ask is: Do you have communication tools that allow for a versatile work force and that allow you to easily connect with vendors and customers?

These and other improvements to your businesses infrastructure require an initial investment in equipment and software. By making you more competitive, efficient and cost-effective, this investment can be one of the smartest moves a company can make.

So before your outdated infrastructure becomes an insurmountable problem, make the needed upgrades and keep your company moving forward.

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