Do you include your IT team in major company decisions? Typically, most small and midsize companies exclude IT from major decisions. This often creates a lot of avoidable problems. As companies become ever more dependent on technology for productivity, including your IT team in major business decisions can avoid many problems and even provide you with a competitive advantage.
For example, I have frequently seen companies excluding IT when choosing new office space. Most business leaders don't think that it has much, if any, impact on IT. However, there are two common scenarios where I have seen it create lots of IT frustration:
Limited Internet Options
Business leaders typically choose a space based on location, the image it projects to clients and employees, amenities and the cost per square foot. One thing that is often overlooked is internet options. Even in a high-tech city like San Diego, there are a lot of buildings that can only get internet via DSL. Another common problem occurs when the copper wiring in the building is so old that even if you bring high-speed internet access to the building, you get slow speeds within the building.
Warehouse Has Limited Access to Office
The distance of an office suite from warehouse space can have IT implications. Recently, I talked with a company that chose a suite that was further from their warehouse rather than choosing the suite next to the warehouse. While the suite they chose had a little more "curb appeal", it created a connectivity nightmare.
Because the office suite was physically further away from the warehouse, it was difficult to give the warehouse access to the servers. This reduced productivity as the warehouse staff had to constantly wait as they accessed the company servers for fulfilling orders and shipping products.
By including IT in the process of choosing office space, you can ensure that connectivity issues are addressed before you sign a multi-year lease. Or at the very least, you understand the factors that you will need to address depending on which location you choose.
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