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Scale Your Business to Swim with the Sharks

Ralph Perdomo

Businesses and sharks have a lot in common. They're both always moving, they can swallow their adversaries whole, and they can be seen on Shark Tank. Although their definition of scale differs, how they use it is equally important to their survival.

A business scales in response to increased customer demand or in response to changing markets but how it scales determines whether it protects its bottom line or even increases profitability. Said another way, a business's ability to scale indicates an efficient business model and determines whether it sinks or swims.

shark swimming with underwater finance executive's desk
Created by Ryan Mason

Here's why businesses must embrace technology to scale and swim with the sharks.

Customers are requesting meetings, the sales team is double-booked, and partner referrals are on the rise. Customers are coming from further regions of the globe and all signs point to scaling upwards. But how do you know if your company's infrastructure is ready to scale?

The IT department plays a huge role in determining a company's growth potential.

IT's role has evolved to that of an industrial engineer's— looking for efficiencies anywhere they exist. IT is no longer relegated to unjamming printers or teaching employees how to program their voicemail.

It should come as no surprise that many IT departments have found greater efficiencies by upgrading physical in-house hardware to cloud-based services.

Cloud-based services, or SaaS (software as a service), can mean different things to different people. It's universally accepted however, that it's faster, cheaper, more secure, and flexible than a locally-hosted solution. Most importantly though, is cloud-computing's elasticity.

With cloud-based services, as you need more resources you simply request them. There's no extra hardware or personnel to add. Businesses can scale on a quick turnaround.

So ask IT this question: Which department relies most on in-house hardware?

Identifying those departments is a company's first action item before scaling up. Migrating them to cloud-based services makes any growth easier. Plus, cloud-based services help departments get tasks done faster, easier, and more efficiently. Efficiency is, after all, the foundation of scalability.

But what if things are a little bleaker— a little less positive? All the more reason to embrace cloud-based services.

The greatest strength to the cloud is its scalability. In this case, the ability to scale down. Less clients? Scale back the services used. Cloud-based service pricing is usually based on a usage. The less a company needs, the less paid. And since there's no hardware costs to amortize, cloud-based services can be scaled all the way down to zero.

Regardless of the direction a company is headed, adopting cloud-based services unlocks the holy grail of technology—automation.

Automation, as the name implies, allows departments to do more with less resources. Tasks involving several steps are now done in fewer steps— sometimes just one step. Departments, such as accounting and sales, can share data and complete workflows faster. For example, sales' numbers can be sent directly to payroll, allowing commissions to be paid faster and with less hassle. A workflow that once took several spreadsheets, applications, and windows is now done with a single click.

Scalability through technology gives companies the much-needed buffer between market trends and its bottom line. It enables them to run leaner and rely less on human capital. It's no longer possible to scale a company without the right technology. And unfortunately, technology is often a company's weakest link and its greatest barrier in its ability it scale.

Move your technology forward and be ready to scale; it's a fundamental part of survival.