Firstly, I have to point out that I am not an IT expert, HOWEVER I do own and run a small business, and I work with a large number of other small and medium businesses on a daily basis. And in these tough times, it always amazes me at the number of clients we talk to that are considering spending a small fortune on a new or replacement Server to store their files, server up their email and occasionally run specialist software. Only last week, we were approached with ‘is there another way, or do we need to pay several thousand pounds on a new server?'.
To me these hardware solutions should no longer be the default solution for the SME, but simply part of a broader consideration as to how best to deliver the best, simplest and cheapest solution to meet the business’s evolving needs.
For an IT provider, wouldn't this approach be more likely to earn the customers long term loyalty, as opposed to over specifying hardware when potentially another solution might be more suitable.
As many of you will know, we are big advocates of the web and selecting the best that the web has to offer; not trying to re-invent the wheel with in-house, niche or weakly supported systems, when there are some amazing systems and solutions out there that are continuously developing and improving to meet their users specific needs….and bringing them together in well designed and constructed packages, with approachable and determined customer service.
This brings me back round to 'Why do SME's need Servers' when there are awesome web based solutions like Google Apps available? If you want flexibility, reliability, value, connectivity and rich interaction with your colleagues and teams, there aren't many systems that can touch this suite of services; including email, contacts, calendar sharing, chat, document storage, sharing and editing, video, social integration (Google+), plus the online and offline syncing capabilities to manage your information seamlessly across devices and other software applications (including most Microsoft products). Also the business case for Google Apps is very (very) appealing, in fact awesome value.
The flip side….if you do need to run specialist software across multiple pc’s (such as your accountancy software), a Server might still be the right solution.
So, if you are considering significant investment or changes to your IT infrastructure don’t rule out looking down the web or ‘cloud’ server route. If you would like to chat about Google Apps (we are a Google Apps Authorised reseller), please don’t hesitate to give me a call on 0845 363 7082, or email me (James) at firstname.lastname@example.org.