5 Infrastructure-related problems that most scale-ups have

  • September 28, 2020

Once your startup grows, it’s no longer a startup but a scale-up, and when that happens, a new set of challenges arises.

This is a list of (some) common challenges scale-ups face when growing into a more mature business; the challenge now is not knowing what to do – but being consistently good at it.

  1. You learn about problems from… your clients

    How many times have you gotten a call from a client informing you about a problem in your infrastructure and you know nothing about it?
    We’ve all been there, and we know how frustrating and embarrassing it can be, not to mention damaging to your reputation; if a client learns that you didn’t know about an issue, you’ve lost that client’s confidence.

  2. You don’t fully own your infrastructure

    You found a great freelancer to build it some time ago, and he got the job done!

    Now… what would happen if he leaves? You’re in deep trouble.

    You don’t fully own your infrastructure if you don’t have complete control over it and own the knowledge you would need to rebuild it from the ground up.

  3. What’s going on with your infrastructure

    Related to the previous point, you have no idea how good or bad the application’s health is, besides “it’s running ok”  or “it’s as slow as a snail”; worst of all, when it goes down, you don’t know about it until a customer lets you know.

  4. Releasing to production is a “journey into the unknown”

    Every time you want to put a new version in production is “to boldly go where no man has gone before“: more often than not, a new version means a lot of manual labor, delays, eternal rollbacks and lots of headaches. All this means that your costs skyrocket and your time to market goes through the window.

  5. Your infrastructure is anything but reliable

    Everything “runs”, but as soon as you change even just a single component of the infrastructure, the rest falls apart like a house of cards. Of course you know how to put it back together, but you become more and more reluctant to change, and sooner or later, you stop innovating due the fear of “breaking everything”.


If you can relate to some (or all!) of the situations above, fear not – there’s a silver lining to all this. These are mostly technical problems, and if twenty-plus years of experience in IT has taught us anything, it’s that technical problems are the easiest kind to fix.


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