Essential IT questions for your creative business

13 August 2014

Essential IT questions for your creative business

I speak a lot with creative and design studios who feel they’re in a period of growth.  What was once a good business idea and a few mates is now in full swing.  You may be thinking about upgrading to a better location, expanding the team, or maybe you’ve just landed some big clients.

Usually at this time there are a few niggles and warning signs that your IT isn’t coping. Designers might be complaining that their computers are too slow.  Your software is out of date. Wi-fi network is too slow. Archiving jobs and file structures are a total mess.  And fonts?  Don’t get me started on how many people struggle with keeping on top of their fonts.

Taking your small business IT to the next level means making some smart investments.   With all of the options available today, staying ahead of the pack and being up on new apps, tech and gadgets can go a long way to improve the buzz and productivity of your studio.

Over the years I have put together some TMM style geeky tips to stay ahead of the pack.  Here’s a few thought starters to help you think about what you might need.

1. Hardware

How old is your fleet of computers?  Hardware is cheap and only getting cheaper.  Quick fixes like SSD upgrades can extend the shelf life of your Macs, while utilising new technology ie. mobile/tablet devices, Mac Minis, Cloud servers can save you serious money.

2. Thinking mobile

How mobile is your workforce? (and how mobile do you wanna be?)

We know that staff, directors and account managers these days want to work from everywhere –home, the office, cafes or at a clients.  Is your IT system geared up for that?  Do you need shared Google for Business Enterprise apps? VPNs that staff can remote into? My most recent job was connecting a VPN for a client who’s designer was living overseas for a few months.  She could connect into files and work remotely faster than you can say Pina Colada.  Too easy.

3. Backing it up

What state are your backups in?
With all of the backup solutions available, there’s no excuse to be losing work because of a lack of robust backup systems.  A simple, effective Mac or PC backup system can cost you as little as a few hundred bucks.

4. Workflow

This is the holy grail for studios.  Does your studio struggle with sharing files and information? Is there lots of double handling and copying and pasting? Think about how much time and heartache you could save by setting up robust workflow systems.  Moving a job account management, design, implementation, and archiving phases can be easy and simple.  The trick here is simplicity, organisation, offsite backups, internal backups, and most of all – using a system that’s not complicated for people to use.

Let’s chat

If any of this is ringing a bell, get in contact!  As you might be able to tell, I love this stuff and get a kick out of helping my clients take their studio’s IT to the next level.

Contact us for a chat – would love to hear your thoughts.

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