How does IT infrastructure have an impact on SMB's? 

The fact is that most small and mid-sized businesses tend to wait until exceptionally painful problems occur to look into this.  Our experience has been that if IT infrastructure is correctly planned from the beginning with adequate investment, it reduces recurring problems and costs.  Here are some typical examples:

Physical Environment

Temperature / Humidity / Dust - Computers and electronics have a range of comfort which requires cool airflow (to prevent overheating), and moderate humidity levels (approximately 25%-40% humidity).  This electronics "comfort zone" is not all that different than a normal office environment. This means that small airless closets or rooms without controlled air conditioning will promote heat build-up and early equipment failure.  Enclosed small spaces with poor airflow tend to have wide and very sudden swings in temperature and humidity which result in electronics damage relatively quickly. 

Rack-mounting - in small- and mid-sized businesses with one or two servers it is common to see tower-type chassis which can rest on the floor like a workstation.  With our clients either large of small, we universally recommend rack-mounted servers.

 Physical Access - needless to say all servers and other core network equipment should be in secure areas.  Leaving these available to general access can lead to significant operating problems

 

Power Environment

Power - All geographic areas are subject to power fluctuations.  Most business owners don't realize that these fluctuations are passed on to the processors of their unprotected IT equipment resulting in long-term damage and early equipment replacement.  Surge suppressors will NOT fulfill this purpose.

 

Storage Infrastructure

 Storage Area Networks and Network Attached Storage

These should treated with the same care as any other server as these include processors, fans, and arrays of disk drives