Some of the technologies we use and now take for granted were unthinkable to most of us just five years ago. With that rapid change in mind, is it possible to develop an IT investment strategy when game-changing technologies can appear seemingly overnight?

Most SMEs just want their systems to work, of course, and have no interest in leading the pack when it comes to technology. The challenge comes if your competitors take advantage of new developments in a way that is disruptive to your industry – but this doesn’t mean you need to overhaul your whole IT strategy just in case such an event occurs. The best approach is to keep an eye on the trends and develop an infrastructure that suits your current business needs and has the flexibility to develop as your business grows or changes over time.

Scalability is the key to an IT infrastructure which supports future business growth whilst avoiding excessive redundancy. If you have your servers tucked in a cupboard or a small room and can’t easily make room for more in your office, or you’re tied to a strict cloud contract you might find it’s expensive and slow to support your expansion. Colocation gives you a secure location to store your hardware and the option to expand your requirement, all in the time it takes to purchase the additional server.

Security is another important element of your IT strategy and it seems that new malware and threats emerge all the time. You may not be able to stay one step ahead of hackers, and for most SMEs, it’s not an effective use of your time and resources to anticipate what might be coming. In this instance, preparation is the best protection. A disaster recovery strategy and solution will ensure that your business can be up and running against whatever new security threats the future may hold.

Connectivity is already an essential for businesses. In the future, the role of good connectivity is only going to become more important as demand continues to grow. Of course, much like trying to predict where the next security threat is going to come from, you might not know what your requirement is going to be in the future. That’s why it’s important to ensure that you’re getting the best possible value from the connection you have, and that you’re working with a provider that works collaboratively with their clients. The larger providers and household names may seem like the obvious choice, but often a local specialist can provide better rates and faster speeds and find creative and effective solutions for your connectivity requirements.

Ensuring that your IT infrastructure is future-proofed doesn’t mean buying the cutting edge of technology to be as up to date as possible. The three key principles – scalable, secure and connected – should provide the foundation for your plan. While you’re looking into the future, don’t forget to look at the environmental aspects of any investment you make – whatever else the future holds, we need to reduce our carbon consumption. Using high efficiency systems or carbon neutral providers is not only a way to reduce the cost of your energy bills and the carbon tax you’re paying, it’s also future proofing for the whole planet.