We’re continuing our series on decentralised businesses with the following article.
When launching a decentralised business, creating a reliable infrastructure is crucial. As employees would work independently and remotely, it becomes even more important to provide them with the required tools to excel in their roles.
We are fortunate to be living in a time where there are plenty of tools available to enable remote working. Cloud-based platforms and improved internet connectivity speeds and quality have paved the way for this distributed approach.
To set you on the path to becoming a decentralized company, I will cover the essential resources and strategies you’ll require.
The hardware – a frequently neglected element of decentralized businesses
As some individuals seem to neglect the significance of supplying the essential hardware to their staff and instead concentrate only on software solutions, I will start with hardware. However, a distributed business cannot function without top-notch technology and software. (source)
While discussing hardware, it’s critical to ensure that employees have access to the most up-to-date technology. This may include computers, tablets, phones, displays, cameras, and digital pens, as well as reliable hardware infrastructure at the primary and satellite offices, if any.
Let’s begin with the equipment required for team members. You have three choices, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks:
Allow team members to participate in hardware maintenance.This entails encouraging employees to use their own electronic devices at work. Although this is a cost-effective measure, it does pose some security risks that must be factored in.
You must supply the hardware yourself.By choosing this alternative, you can furnish your staff with the tools they need. Depending on the number of employees and their individual needs, this may become expensive, but you can guarantee that they will have access to modern and secure technology.
Utilise a DaaS (Device as a Service).DaaS is an all-in-one hardware solution for businesses seeking to manage their hardware requirements. By employing a DaaS provider, firms may eliminate the expenses and burden associated with hardware maintenance, support, and upgrades. To learn more, please refer to a more detailed article on this topic.
In the end, it’s up to you to determine which approach works best for your decentralized company. Nonetheless, at Works, we strongly recommend that you provide the necessary equipment yourself, whether through an internal IT department or a DaaS provider. This is because employees’ personal devices may not always be updated or secure and could be accessed by unauthorised individuals.
Setting up the infrastructure necessitates additional equipment. It’s critical to take into account the hardware required to support any physical workplaces, if they exist. This entails more than just outfitting potential on-site personnel.
Determining whether your company necessitates a specialised infrastructure, such as a private cloud, for storing and processing data is crucial. If so, a network with separate servers would be necessary. It’s crucial to indicate your requirements before devising your firm’s internal hardware infrastructure since this does not apply to all businesses.
Establishing an IT hardware infrastructure at the workplace necessitates careful consideration. It’s crucial to evaluate the needs of internal teams as well as your own strategic goals to determine which equipment is required for installation. While the equipment will most likely be utilised exclusively by your staff, there may be additional factors to consider.
Distributed businesses can select from six different software packages.
Software is as crucial as hardware in operating a decentralized company. There is a vast array of digital solutions accessible to assist decentralised businesses. When determining which solutions to adopt, factors such as the types of tasks being performed, the size of the team, and the specific requirements of your business processes should all be considered.
Choosing a cloud platform that meets the unique needs of your company is critical. Nonetheless, there are a few fundamental solutions that are likely to be beneficial for businesses with multiple locations. While they may not seem necessary initially, it’s worthwhile to consider how they can improve employee efficiency and daily operations.
Hence, there are six categories of applications that every decentralised business should utilise:
Collaboration ToolsTo facilitate efficient communication among your team members despite physical separation, it’s vital to select the appropriate collaboration solutions. These should offer features such as communication (text, voice or video), file sharing, team organisation, and a record of all interactions. Slack is an excellent option among many.
Project Management ToolsProject management solutions are intended to assist businesses in achieving their objectives. These solutions include features such as ticketing systems, reports, follow-up options, organisational preferences, and time tracking tools. Jira and Basecamp are two widely used project management tools.
Data Storage SolutionsWhile many software solutions for team collaboration and project management can double as file repositories, some data types may be too large or complex for effective storage. To ensure your remote team can access their files, it’s recommended to provide them with file storage solutions such as Dropbox and Google Drive, which enable users to store their files in virtual folders and access them from anywhere.
Productivity ToolsWhile implementing some of the suggested methods may enhance your efficiency, there are specialised technologies that can improve the effectiveness of your operations and, as a result, your business. For instance, Blink provides a range of time-saving features including calendaring, a staff directory, a news feed, and app customisation.
Invoice and Billing Management ToolsThe ability to create invoices, track payments, and even automate invoicing is critical for any company operating remotely. Fortunately, specific tools are available to assist with all your accounting needs and support a remote workforce. Some useful online billing tools include Square and Invoice2Go, among many others.
Time Zone CoordinationIf your team is situated in the same geographical region, you may not need to schedule meetings and phone calls across multiple time zones. However, if your team members are scattered across different time zones, it’s wise to use tools such as Timezone.io or Every Time Zone to ensure proper coordination.
Bear in mind that you may require more than six software solutions to establish your business. Consequently, it’s advised that you consider your unique circumstances and evaluate all the available options carefully before making a decision.
When it comes to software, it may be advantageous to hire a software development firm to create customised solutions for your decentralised business. While an off-the-shelf platform may fulfil most of your requirements, it’s likely to be pricier than investing in existing software. Ultimately, the decision is yours.
The reliability of an organisation’s infrastructure is vital for the smooth functioning of a decentralised business. Therefore, when moving to a distributed model, it’s crucial to give adequate attention to this aspect. It’s critical to comprehend the workplace and employee (if applicable) requirements to implement the strategies that most effectively address the organisation’s unique issues.
Developing an IT strategy can be a challenging and intricate process, particularly if you lack experience. This is especially relevant when considering that your business requirements may change, and your infrastructure could need updating in the future. However, without a strategy, your business may be in danger of failure. Use this article as a guide to help you create a successful IT strategy and adapt it as your needs evolve.
Explore further for related articles on the Multi-Site Operations Book Series