No matter the size of an organization, it must address the provision of computer support. A small business may have only one person dealing with computer issues-and then often on only a part-time basis. Many organizations hire a consultant to establish their computer environment, and then rely on in-house staff to keep it going.
Smaller organizations have more modest computing and networking requirements. They might have a dozen or so computers and a few laser printers. The network for the small office must allow members of the organization to share information, as well as printers and other peripherals. The computing needs of most small organizations can be met by a single LAN with one or two servers, using off-the-shelf components. Unlike the enterprise network, a small office LAN usually can be managed by one person with only moderate technical knowledge and experience.
While the small office network doesn't match the scale of its enterprise cousin, many of the same issues apply to both. The design of a small network must be simple, yet functional, secure and scalable. As the business grows, the network must easily expand with it. Even if the scale of the initial environment is small, avoid making technology decisions that might limit your company as it expands.