Q: How can I be smart about building my technology infrastructure?
–Conscientious Business Owner
A: Dear Conscientious:
Building or upgrading your technology infrastructure can be risky. Making the wrong decision about a system or device can result in decreased efficiency and unexpected costs down the road. Knowing what technology to invest in for your business can be tricky and requires strategic thinking and clear goals.
When building your tech infrastructure, including computer hardware, software systems and servers, take these simple steps to minimize risks and avoid unforeseen costs.
Do Your Homework – Before investing in any technology, do your consumer research. Read reviews, shop around for best prices and listen to what the experts say. Do reviews say a particular piece of software will become obsolete in a few years? Do consumer reviews report bugs in the systems? Does the server system you are considering require frequent updates? How will that impact your business? These are the kinds of questions you need to ask before making any big purchase.
Phone a Friend – Talk to friends, peers and colleagues. Talk to both your tech-savvy acquaintances as well as those who don’t know Windows from Linux. Both may provide information that will be helpful when you are building your tech infrastructure.
Along those same lines, ask for references from tech firms you are thinking of working with. This is particularly important if you aren’t well versed in that specific field. If you don’t know
how a website is built, you will want to find a firm that provides ample guidance and customer support. Professional references should be able to speak to those types of service traits.
Read the Fine Print – Make sure you read all service agreements, purchase agreements and warranties. If you don’t understand something, ask us as your trusted advisor. Not understanding how a software system works or how an application is developed can cause disastrous mistakes. Learn as much as you can, and get information and advice from multiple parties before making any investment in your tech infrastructure. And, above all make sure that your investment in your technology is protected by proper clauses in your agreements regarding the ownership of the intellectual property you are developing whenever you invest in technology. Without this kind of protection built-in, you could be looking at an expensive headache down the road.
If you need help building your tech infrastructure with minimal costs and hassle, start by sitting down with a Creative Business Lawyer®. They can help you make strategic decisions about your business technology and also identify potential tech pitfalls and help you keep your costs down while increasing the efficiency and ease of running your business.