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Starting a business? Set yourself up for success with the right IT partners.

The pandemic has catalyzed the great dissatisfaction that overworked employees felt worldwide, and created the great attrition. However, striking out on one's own comes with its own challenges.
The pandemic has been a time of accelerated learning: we learnt a lot about our families, about what genuine concern looks like, about our abilities to tackle everything this situation threw at us - emotionally, physically and financially. By and large, we've learned that we're far more capable than we gave ourselves credit for.

So then, does it really surprise anyone that so many of us are leaving our all consuming, high stress jobs to back ourselves as entrepreneurs? Microsoft’s Work Trend Index shows that 41% of the global workforce are considering a job change in the next year, with 46 percent planning to make a major career transition. The numbers in IT are noteworthy. According to research firm Gartner, the attrition rate rose from 10% in 2020 to 20% in 2021. Some IT service providers are even battling higher attrition rates of up to 30%, and while not everyone is starting a new business, many are.

IT doesn't need to be scary
Gone are the days when you needed to speak IT to be able to set yourself up. Nor do you need to take on expensive IT employees you can't afford yet. Today's marketplace gives you several options to choose from, even if you aren't clear on what your needs are yet. When choosing an IT service provider, try to find one who can offer you everything, start to finish:

  • Laptops, workstations and servicing thereof.
  • Servers, storage and networking, and their continued administration and maintenance
  • A complete security solution

Look for an IT partner who can design your architecture based on the needs of your business today and tomorrow. Also, this is a great time to explore a Work From Anywhere model, which not only lowers your overheads, but also makes for happier employees.

In this three part series, we're exploring the ins and outs of your IT setup, and how best to optimise it.

The basics: Employee Workstations
It's easy to overspend on workstations with all the choices available. You might want to consider working backwards - let your budget determine what you can include in your workstations.

You may also opt for high-end, High Performance Computing (HPC) if your work demands it. Particularly if you work in fields like research, life sciences or digital manufacturing, you might benefit from a partner that is attuned to domain specific designs that fit your business more closely.

Another option you should consider is AI based devices that learn from user behavior and tailor your laptops and PCs to the users' work styles and deliver a smoother experience all around. Imagine a laptop that automatically finds and connects to the best network available (and keeps an eye out for better ones), intelligent audio that enhances your voice and cuts out ambient sound when you're on conference calls, it knows which applications you use most, and prioritizes those so that they run faster. This is where technology is at today, and you should leverage it. Dell's Optimiser Intelligence platform does all of this, and even analyses your power consumption patterns to charge devices faster when it anticipates you're going to need it.

Anything that helps take away mental clutter, and prevents disruptions to your employees' work days is worth its weight in gold. The good news is that it doesn't cost that much. Shop around. You'll be surprised at what you find.

Servers, Storage and Networking
Do you need your own server? How much storage will you need? How do the various kinds of servers compare on cost, security, storage and speed? Should you opt for cloud based services? If so, should it be private or public or hybrid? The short answer to all of these is that you'll need expert advice.

Once again, the best way to go is to partner with a provider who can anticipate your needs as you grow, and grow with you. With servers specifically, you'll also need solutions that aid you in your transformation journey. Also, this isn't just about hardware anymore. Data storage solutions, data protection and backup , cyber recovery solutions - all of these come into play.

Choose a partner with a proven track record. Reputation matters most here - the safety of your data is paramount. Choose an IT partner who has the ability to support your entire stack, and is able to offer all the storage, data protection, backup and recovery solutions you need. This isn't a workload that you want to split up among various vendors, unless of course, you have a dedicated IT Team who can help coordinate their efforts.

Another critical consideration is warranty and coverage. According to a Forrester Report commissioned by Dell EMC in Feb 2019, approximately 60% of companies surveyed are purchasing additional support services or planning to purchase support services in the next 12 months. Why would this be so? Because your servers need continued access to software updates and security patches. You also need to continue receiving support on your ageing servers till such time that you are ready to replace them. Additionally, you need a partner who can help you with multi-vendor support, if your infrastructure was set up piecemeal.

Dell Technologies - Your One-stop shop
Technology can be daunting. And expensive. Which is why you need partners who believe in your business, and will help you design and navigate the best solution for your budget. In the next article in this series, we will explore how best to secure your business from cyber threats.

Whether you're just starting out, growing into your next phase, or about to burst onto the international scene, Dell has the tried and tested solution you need for your business. Dell understands the power of startups, having been one. It also understands the pain of being a startup, which is why Dell Technologies is hosting an exclusive Republic Day Sale to help equip small businesses with the solutions they need, through offers that focus on them.