Small Business Network Management Principles

My objective here is to get the ball rolling on effectively planning and implementing a manageable IT strategy in a small business environment. A good IT plan addresses many components of business operations. This article main purpose is to list those components. Future posts will detail the specifics individually.

Effectively managing the IT interests of a small business requires the right mindset.

  1. The goals of the IT services must be in-line with the goals of the organization
  2. Business process gets first attention (keep the business’ revenue stream flowing)
  3. Start simple then customize as needed, within common practices.
  4. Address security; physical, personnel, back-ups, networking, intellectual property

For my purposes, I’ll describe a “typical small business” as:

  1. 3-50 computer users
  2. Operating out of one office
  3. Most computer operations are basic office applications, email, and internet access
  4. Typically one or two customized databases for core business operations
  5. Management occasionally needs remote access
  6. Not big enough to justify an internal “computer guy”

The primary IT components of such an enterprise “typically” include:

  1. Several desktop (and some laptop) computers
  2. File server(s) to organize, share, and back-up the company’s data
  3. Printers: network laser, some local
  4. Ethernet network: wiring and switches to provide communications amongst the equipment
  5. Software packages/licenses: The programs that run on the computers
  6. Internet access, typically shared broadband through a secure “gateway” (firewall)
  7. Email server

Additional/optional components to address under the IT umbrella:

  1. Website management
  2. Fax machines / copiers / scanning equipment
  3. Phone system and local phone services
  4. Company cell phones / cell phone plan
  5. Postal equipment
  6. Wireless ethernet network
  7. PDA’s
  8. Surveilance system

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Small Business Operations and Knowledge Management Resources

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