A word you hear all the time in business–particularly in regard to the future, investment and growth–is scalability.
This term has something of a dual application, but regardless of which one you look at, it’s essential to any business.
Scalability isn't just rapid growth.
Scalability is the ability to adapt over time to changes, and grow in the most efficient way possible to ensure the majority of the profit your organization generates is retained.
Scalability is the ability to hire the technicians needed to fulfill the demands of that 200+ user accounting firm john from sales brought on in the month prior; or quickly becoming HIPAA compliant because a multi-location healthcare practice was referred to you last week.
Not only do these decisions have to made quickly and at the right time, they need to be somewhat predicted.
Many IT businesses fold under such rapid growth because they fail to foresee what they might need in the near future to facilitate the clients that support this growth, having too much of a here-and-now mindset.
The Importance of Being Scalable
As a business grows, its main objective is to continue to meet market demands.
The trouble is, market demands are never static.
They shift as the interests of your ideal clients change and as resources flow in and out of availability.
If you want to stay competitive in these circumstances and ultimately continue the growth of your MSP company, you have to be able to change what you are doing to fill the needs and wants customers have in the moment.
This can be challenging as the departments become more segmented and collaboration become more infrequent, a natural result of growth.
Scalability also matters because growth in business means you are working with more customers, data and resources.
If you do not have an efficient process to handle the increase in service requests your existing client base will surely feel the neglect, resulting in higher churn rates and negative feedback about your organization.
What Does Scalability Mean For IT Businesses?
IT & MSP businesses need to be scalable on one or more levels in order to hold onto and build market share.
Even so, small businesses have the greatest need for scalability because they are the ones with the biggest potential for growth.
They are the organizations that have to be more careful with the limited resources they have, the ones that go through metamorphoses as their leaders become more familiar with the business game.
Many small businesses fold directly because they fail to foresee what they might need or where the market can take them, having too much of a here-and-now mindset.
It is natural for a small business to want to make as many areas scalable as possible, and business leaders should work toward this goal.
Still, you should recognize that not everything might be scalable.
A lack of scalability in one or more areas doesn’t necessarily stop you from moving forward, but it does influence how you approach your system design, equipment purchase and even hiring.
For this reason, it’s just as important to recognize where you can’t change as to see where you can.
Scalability is associated both with computer systems and business change.
In either case, it refers to the ability to adapt, particularly in regard to growth and increased demand. Scalability is essential in that it contributes to competitiveness, efficiency, reputation and quality.
MSP’s must be particularly mindful of scalability because they have the biggest growth potential and need to maximize the return with resources.
Although many areas in a company are scalable, some are not.
You should consider these with the same serious thoroughness as you do your scalable points.