I recently took my 3 year old son to DisneyWorld. Absolute magical time! Since I have returned to the office, one song remains in my head. If you have ever been on the “Small World” ride at Disney, you know that this song will be etched on your brain for weeks. Typically to a point of insanity. As I think about this song, it has applicability to a business area that is rapidly evolving right now in the world of IT…SMALL BUSINESS.
Traditional Small Business IT solutions have typically consisted of some type of email, accounting and web, all residing on a single server, accessed by whitebox desktops, and backed up via USB drive. This environment is typically managed by the one person in the company who happened to take a computer science course in college, or the owners son for his allowance. Or in our case two years ago, our CEO and our otherwise billable perform resources.
Recent growth in public cloud based solutions now offer small companies the much needed relief they need in this area:
Managed Services – Small companies typically do not dedicate an FTE to support their environment. Now through affordable offerings, they can pay a quarter of an FTE to manage their environment remotely. Offerings such as CimaCare for Windows offer complete server management in remote data center, and also desktop hygiene (regular fixes, virus protection etc) based on count.
Backup to the Cloud – The next step to optimizing for small business is to get your backups and confidential data off a USB drive in your trunk, and into the cloud. Again, this solution is very affordable. Data loss for a small business can be catastrophic, so for the small cost of a cloud backup, why risk it.
SAAS – Many providers offer Software as a service. Simply put, you access applications, on the providers server and storage as a part of a subscription. Common areas are CRM and email. Take email, GoogleApps offers a complete solution of email, calendar, documents, sites and other apps, all for the low cost of $50/user per year. Take the cost of hardware and management of in your current environment, and cast it out.
Virtual Desktop – A final area that eliminates the challenge of managing an IT environment, is to take the desktops off the end users system, and move them to the server. Or better yet, to your managed service provider.
I know that all of this may seem complicated to the Small Business IT individual, but frankly, it is just the opposite. These solutions offer significant cost reductions for a small company. More importantly, they offer improved functionality, performance, reliability, and security. Best of all, your otherwise billable resources, can be doing just that…billing!
Todd Brown is the VP of Sales and Marketing at Cima Solutions Group. He has sixteen years in the IT industry working with clients to optimize their infrastructure in order to improve efficiency and minimize expense through the use of new technologies
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