With the fourth quarter of 2009 upon us, we thought it was time to look back at technology trends that our clients have been “falling for.” It’s clear that companies with a forward-thinking approach and solid grasp of technology trends have a distinct competitive advantage. We’ve found that the following technology trends have positively shaped their business. Haven’t checked them out yet? Don’t worry, these same technologies can give your company the tools it needs to do business in this challenging economic environment.
Cloud computing or Software as a Service (SaaS)
To some, it seems like we’ve come full circle—from the world of mainframe computing to distributed PCs and now back to cloud computing where a third party hosts and supports your business software. Some examples of cloud computing include the basics like hosted Exchange and antiSPAM email filtering or more sophisticated applications like ERP, CRM or HR management systems. The benefits to you:
- Shift large-scale software expenses from a capital budget to an operating expense
- Better security
- Improved uptime
- Ubiquitous access across desktops, notebooks and mobile devices.
One IT Radix client who shifted to our hosted Exchange solution was able to improve its mobile workforce access to information, eliminate wasted time deleting junk email while at the same time add two new important features to their email usage—encryption and archiving. Having email encryption and archiving allowed our client to bid on and win a large contract because they immediately had the required technologies in place, unlike their competitors.
The initial goal of virtualization is to reduce server sprawl while at the same time enable needed business functionality. We’ve seen virtualization expand to the desktop as well—making it possible to run legacy applications, improve security and more. One of our engineering clients invested a bit more upfront on server hardware, but was able to upgrade both their basic file server and their accounting system on a single server using virtualization. This easily saved our client $5k or more on server hardware. In addition, virtualization is a fantastic green IT solution, reducing electrical and HVAC requirements and upgrades, not to mention the ongoing savings on actual utility expenses.
It’s easy to forget that only a few years ago the typical office worker was bolted to a desk and connected to data by wires, cords and cables. Over the last few years, wireless technology—including 3G cellular data networks and widespread Wi-Fi—has opened the door to an anytime, anywhere business model. Several of our clients are using business-specific applications on devices such as an Apple iPhone to conduct business basically anywhere. Some things to consider:
- Is your sales team positioned to collaborate, share leads and land the deal at any time and any where?
- How can your business processes be optimized and extended by mobile computing to give your SMB the dexterity to run circles around your larger, more inflexible competition?
- How is your firm positioned to work from anywhere, to minimize lease and utility expenses, and to obtain state and local tax benefits for reducing carbon emissions?
Technology is constantly changing. These are just three of the technology trends that have helped our clients continue to grow and enhance their products and services and in some cases, “rake away” their competition.
Want the same benefits as our clients, just ask your IT support provider of choice. They’ll make sure you “fall for” the right technology for you!