Having multiple sites is an exciting but challenging aspect of a growing business. While it allows your business to utilise skills and resources around the country (and world), and be closer to major clients, many business owners constantly worry about the logistics.
With technology and the right IT provider on your side, having multiple locations can, and should be as painless as it would be if all of your staff were under one roof!
If your business has multiple locations and you struggle with compatibility and maintaining the same standard of work and processes across your sites, read on to find out more about the 4 Ways Technology Can Help Manage Your Multi-Site Business.
Connectivity + Communication = Collaboration!
The key to seamless communication in your multi-site business is connectivity. With advanced network infrastructure put in place by your IT provider, communication should be just as seamless as it would be if the staff from your other site were in the next room. This includes Internet connectivity as well as the phone system your chosen provider has put in place.
With the addition of instant messaging applications such as Microsoft Teams – which you will already have licensing for if you have Office 365, communication can be effortless.
Consider the Cloud
With cloud technology widely available, there has never been a better time to be a multi-site business. Cloud technology allows your multiple sites to store and access data in one place, making data access quick and easy for all staff. What more could you ask for?
Multi-site businesses used to struggle, with physical servers connected over a wide area network. With cloud infrastructure, some or all of your business data isn’t stored on local servers but instead in the cloud.
The most common example of this is Microsoft Azure which is a Platform as a Service (PaaS). You can keep your own applications and data but Azure handles everything else, such as servers and storage – so you don’t need to worry about it.
With Azure Active Directory, applications and permissions can also be managed centrally, assisting in the IT governance within your business. Azure AD is an access management service, so you can manage your systems more easily.
The main thing people tend to have concerns about with cloud computing is “where is my data and is it safe?” but the cloud actually has more robust security than your onsite infrastructure.
With that being said, backing up your data on the cloud with technology such as cloud-to-cloud backup is just as vital as backing up locally stored data. Read more about Why You Need To Back Up Office 365 (and other cloud data).
Decrease Your CapEx Costs
Another advantage of technology such as cloud infrastructure is that it can also cut your CapEx costs. With the up-keep costs of your multiple sites, this is definitely something you want to take advantage of. Rather than splurging on hardware for multiple sites at irregular intervals, having cloud based servers means your payments will become operational costs that you can account in to everything else. This is because you will be paying for the storage usage and not the hardware.
Gone are the days of surprising IT costs out of nowhere, you can budget your multiple sites more easily and plan your finances so you can focus on growing your business.
Standardise Sites With Software
No matter how your multi-site business is set up, the key to smooth uninterrupted processes is to standardise.
Another way technology helps manage multi-site businesses is by the ability to standardise software and hardware. This ensures that the quality of work produced by all sites is of the same quality, and that all sites follow the same processes and procedures in business. It also makes sure collaboration is facilitated through common software.
So when your staff from one branch need to work from another – it’s straight forward. Your sites can have the same printers, and the same up-to-date version of Microsoft Word.
When management then have meetings at different sites, they will be able to work as efficiently as they would at their own site. What about when your staff need to share documents – standardised software means staff will be using the same software and the same versions – seamless sharing couldn’t be easier!
Who Do I Trust to Set Up This Technology?
When it comes to the technology across your multi-site business, you want to know that everything is being set up by a IT provider who are an expert in the field – that’s where we can help you.
We specialise in not only planning infrastructure for multi-site businesses, but see its implementation from start to finish. With our cabling experts for your network needs to our cyber security experts who look after your business network – there’s a reason our customers love and trust us.
Having worked with numerous multi-site businesses to make their IT as seamless as possible, you can rest assured your IT is in the hands of a multi-site specialist.
Get more information, or advice on your business IT needs from an industry specialist – book a 15-minute FREE consultation now with our MD Mark Riddell.