As an owner or manager at a small or medium-sized business (SMB), you may feel as though certain IT solutions are out of your reach. Nothing could be further from the truth. Enterprise-level IT solutions are often scaled to a company's needs, and open to companies of all sizes. Though you may be able to acquire the very same technology large enterprises use, it may be at a fraction of the cost.
What is an "Enterprise-Level" or "Enterprise-Grade" Tool?
When something is called an “enterprise-grade” tool, that means that it adheres to the standards necessary to support an enterprise-level organization. That includes:
- Superior security. Enterprise-level companies are far more likely to experience data breaches and cyberattacks; they need superior security measures in order to protect themselves. SMBs are also targeted by cybercriminals; in fact, they are some of the most common targets. SMBs, too, benefit from greater information security offered by things like SaaS tools.
- Seamless integration. Many enterprises use multiple solutions, and so need them to operate seamlessly within a single architecture. Thus, most enterprise-grade solutions can interact and integrate with other products, making it easier to deploy multiple products for processes and workflows.
- Multiple roles. From administrators to end users, enterprises need their solutions to support many different roles. These roles protect and enhance productivity, while also maintaining security: Having multiple role types defined in IT makes it possible to have multiple levels of privacy and security on internal documents and files. Comparatively, SMBs may have fewer employees, and those employees aren’t specialized enough to need many role types, but they can still benefit from the ability to distribute roles, especially as the business grows.
- Regulatory compliance. While all businesses need to follow their own regulatory compliance, enterprises frequently deal with more regulations, including international ones. Since regulatory compliance changes from year to year, enterprises need to be able to rely upon their systems to remain compliant long-term.
- Productivity features. An enterprise relies upon its productivity to scale. Many enterprise-level solutions make it easier for users to connect, communicate, and collaborate, with the ability to work in sync on documents. SMBs can use enterprise-grade productivity features to meet an enterprise level of service quality.
In short, there's nothing that makes a tool solely for an enterprise. Rather, enterprise-level tools are tools that have been designed with larger companies, productivity, and security in mind. If a company wants to leverage best-in-class technologies, it often can.
Why Are Enterprise-Level Solutions Important?
Often, the dividing line between whether a business is competitive or not within its space depends almost entirely on its technology. Technology lets a business scale and remain flexible. It lets a business reduce its overhead and provide better value to its customers.
With enterprise IT solutions, an SMB can provide the services of a larger enterprise — which allows an SMB to become a larger enterprise. Businesses that are interested in scaling upwards are going to need to prepare to do so with the correct technology.
How Can SMBs Acquire Enterprise IT Solutions?
A company doesn't have to spend enterprise-level money to acquire enterprise-level products; a company just needs to know what products fit best into its existing business processes.
Consider a tool like MS Teams. MS Teams is used by many of the largest corporations in the world, but that doesn't mean that it's inaccessible to SMBs. Rather, because many enterprise-level solutions are subscription-based, the costs are tiered to your company's needs.
In the past, companies needed to pay thousands of dollars (or even tens of thousands of dollars) to license a single installation of a software, which might not have even been a permanent copy. Today, companies purchase programs on a cheaper, subscription basis, paying for inexpensive licenses, typically per employee. MS Teams, for instance, is a completely free solution, that can be upgraded to different price tiers as needed.
Managed IT services like CWPS can help in implementing solutions at the tiers appropriate to a company, or even selecting features a la carte. Many products, such as Office 365, make it possible to pick and choose the features and tools that you need, rather than paying for utilities that you won't use. Working with an MSP also often means that a company may benefit indirectly from advanced software solutions that the MSP has already requisitioned. Managed network services can offer solutions right out of the box.
Getting the best solutions doesn't necessarily mean that your solutions will be expensive ones. If you’d like to start putting affordable enterprise-grade solutions to work for your business, contact CWPS today for a free consultation.