If your current IT provider isn’t operating within a defined Technology Stack (“Stack”), it means they are not supporting you optimally. Operating your business with a Stack is how you can best maintain and manage the integrity of your business’ most valuable asset: Intellectual Property.
What is a Technology Stack?
A Stack is a set of technologies, frameworks, software, and tools that are used to build a single overarching solution. In the IT services world, the Stack is the foundation of our shared goal of ensuring the availability of all equipment, data, and workflows. The best solution providers ensure the Stack is comprised of best components, integrate well together, and are managed on your behalf.
Why should I care?
Having a curated Tech Stack as part of your technology infrastructure is not for everyone. If your business can easily recreate lost or corrupt data without much effort, you may not need a stack. If your business does not need to promise your customers their data is safe in your hands, you may not need a stack. If your business can afford some downtime and disruptions caused by replacing out of commission and non-standard equipment, you might not need a stack. If your business can absorb the expense and overhead of managing the after effects of a ransomware attack, you might not need a stack.
However, if your business doesn’t focus on IT, but depends on reliably accessing the internet, data storage, communicating over email, chat, or phone, accessing files and folders from within and outside of your office, and doing it while ensuring all of your communication and data are only being viewed by who they’re intended for, then you should care.
How is a technology stack different from what I already have?
If you are like most people, the decision to purchase and deploy technology was made under the duress of needing to solve a critical issue, like replacing a low-cost, readily available network device because the Internet was down for the entire company. Some technology that you have in place is creating friction you have learned to cope with, like not being able to have all your computer’s on wireless at the same time due to the signal becoming too weak.
The result for most businesses is they are running off of a mish mash of technology that doesn’t integrate well and eventually becomes a nightmare to support and manage as well as creates pain points when it comes to user experience for your employees. As the business matures it builds workflows and dependencies on these brittle solutions and change is forced when one of these solutions implode. And often because of sunk costs or prior investments, many businesses remain stuck with equipment or software that are under-performing, and most of their IT investments go to purchases that address only the most acute crisis of the day. Situations like this are incredibly common, with business owners either resigning themselves to technology limiting their potential, or remain stuck in the belief that it would be too costly to get to the root of the matter to fix these issues once and for all.
The way to break out of this cycle is to implement a Stack and have it managed by a team of experts who understand your project needs. This is often far less expensive than you might think, and the indirect benefits across all aspects of your business’ productivity can be a powerful accelerant to your growth and scalability. Any Managed Services Provider should be able to show you their Stack and how it aligns with all your core business functions.
Follow us into the next blog post to read about what it means to select and implement a Tech Stack at Net Friends.