Startups trying to get off the ground, especially those in the biotech space, rely heavily--if not completely--on the backing of outside investors.
With investors playing such a large role in the success (or failure) of a startup, it’s surprising that few early stage companies consider the important role that the choices in the IT systems, and infrastructure that have been put into place play in the eyes of the investor.
Think about it. An investor who is offering you their money will want to mitigate the risk as much as possible before handing over their cash.
Since IT is the backbone of most new companies, an investor will be pleased to see that thoughtful choices are made not only considering budget but security, scalability and accessibility.
Here are six ways to ignite an investor’s confidence with your IT infrastructure.
1. Your Data Is Securely Accessible
Many startups work with a team of consultants or remote employees especially in the early stage. In these scenarios, your data is being accessed remotely by many people on a regular basis. It’s important that you use business class solutions that give your remote team access to your company’s sensitive data but in a way that is secure and manageable. You don’t want passwords being sent around in emails, nor do you want to keep your proprietary data stored on employees' personal accounts that can be accidentally shared and where you have no ability to control the data. Your agreements with your consultants should insist that all company data reside on company sponsored solutions and not to be ported to personal accounts.
2. You Have Good Antivirus and Security In Place
Another aspect of keeping your data safe is ensuring that it can’t be tampered with. Wherever your data is stored and located, there is always the risk of outside threats. By being able to prove that your company is protecting your most valuable asset--your data--by having proper firewalls, antivirus software and operating system and application updates in place, an investor can rest assured in their decision. Additionally, the ongoing monitoring and occasional audit of these systems will ensure that you can catch and eliminate a threat as soon as it arises. There are great managed solutions that can be implemented for small groups
3. Your Data Is Being Backed Up
An important part of your company is your intellectual property and proprietary data. If anything were to happen to this information, both you and your investors would experience a significant loss. Investors love to see that companies they invest in are using cloud technology to keep information backed up on a regular basis. Don’t just assume that having data in a cloud file sharing solution solves all disaster recovery needs. Discuss this with your IT partner.
4. You Have a “Plan B”
At the end of the day, there are a number of problems that can befall your company--many of them outside your control. It can be a winter storm that causes flooding or fire in your building, a lost or stolen laptop with critical information on it or a server or storage device that has failed. Whatever the case, having business continuity in place to keep the company running during unforeseen downtime shows any investor that you won’t lose out on valuable days of productivity. No investor wants to see their money used to re-create something that was lost because of poor planning.
5. You’re Using The Right Technology
Investors want to see that you’re smart when it comes to technology. They want to know that you’re not using technology that’s old and out of date, but at the same time, they want to know that the technology you use is tried and true--not necessarily cutting edge. It’s easy to be drawn to the newest, shiny thing out there or something that is free or low cost but any time you make adjustments to your IT infrastructure later down the line, it’s a workflow change that costs money. Sticking with solutions and equipment that you that are meant for businesses will help in keeping IT workflow changes to a minimum which will keep your team productive and your investors happy.
6. You Have the Ability to Scale
Once a startup receives a new round of investor funding, there is typically a level of growth in a designated time period. This generally means more employees, more data being generated which needs more storage space and processing power. If, at the onset of your relationship with your investor(s), you can show that your company has the ability to scale quickly, you will stand out. A good approach to scalability is to identify cloud storage and virtualization solutions that will allow you to adjust your IT infrastructure at a predictable cost.
There are many factors an investor considers before funding an early stage company. But by proving your dedication to keeping your vital IT systems securely running, you also prove your dedication to using an investor’s money wisely.
Learn more about important IT considerations early stage biotech and life science companies should be aware of in our free guide – After the Seed: Planning IT Investment for Early-Stage Biotech Companies.