SMB IT Question of the Month: When Do We Transition from SOHO to Business or Enterprise-Level Technology?

In today’s complex technological environment, it can be difficult to distinguish between technology made for home, home office and business office use. Hoping to reach larger audiences, technology marketing specialists have purposefully blurred the lines between home and business as well as enterprise. Indeed, you may need to arrange for professional technology consulting to draw clear lines between SOHO (small office/home office) technological solutions and business- or enterprise-level options. Although these distinctions may not be immediately clear, change management experts know that there are indeed major differences between SOHO and business/enterprise software and technology.

The question every small business owner must answer is whether it’s time to graduate from home-office solutions to business/enterprise answers. Will your SOHO technology see you through another year, or is it time to upgrade to solutions designed for use in larger offices? Below, we present a few telltale clues that it may be time to invest in business-level technology.

1. You’re tired of looking for jargon-free advice.

One weakness of SOHO software and technology is that it rarely includes comprehensive technical support. In contrast, business- or enterprise-level solutions usually offer around-the-clock technical support. (Of course, if you want expert advice specifically tailored for your business, you’ll need to arrange for professional technology consulting.)

2. Your employees are wasting time on technological stumbling blocks.

This is the short-term downside of SOHO technology – if it’s too limited, employee productivity levels will plummet.

3 You feel like you’re running in place, with no time for innovation.

SOHO-level software and hardware can prevent growth by sucking up time that would otherwise go toward the development of innovative programs and products. If you feel like your organization is simply treading water, with no extra energy for long-term growth, it’s probably time for to see if you can benefit from moving to a business or enterprise class solution.

4. You need custom technology solutions.

If you find yourself asking, “Why isn’t this automated?” multiple times throughout the business day, chances are it’s time to upgrade to business-level technology. If a certain process is sucking up too much time and dragging down your ROI, and there’s no widely available technological solution, your technology consultant may recommend investing in a custom-made application.

5. A large part of your business depends on technology.

As in all areas of business, the most successful technological improvements are ROI-based. If the technological problems you’re experiencing are not at the heart of your business, it may not be financially wise to invest in new business-level solutions.

6. You’re sick of vendors trying to promote their profits rather than your success.

Enterprise-level solutions tend to be geared more toward improving a company’s bottom line rather than padding the pockets of product developers. (Again, hiring an unbiased technology consultant is a great way to get quick answers to your most pressing software and hardware questions.)

If you recognize these signs in your own business, it’s probably time to upgrade to business- or enterprise-level technology. To find the best enterprise-level software solutions for your company, consider contracting with a change management expert or technology consulting firm.

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