Technology is, by its very nature, complex and often misunderstood. And we find that too often small businesses are misinformed by IT firms that either lack the knowledge they need to properly support their clients, or who put their own interests ahead of their client’s. In speaking with different clients and prospects in the valley, we find a lot of misconceptions.
These are a few of the more common ones:
- Macs aren’t suitable for business: For a long time Macintoshes were certainly thought of as oddballs in a business environment, usually relegated to graphic designers and occasionally as “Executive” computers. Although Apple emphasizes design and aesthetics, these factors are often seen as unnecessary in a business environment. But more and more Macs are being used more widely or exclusively at many companies. Macs have the advantage of being engineered as an integrated package, both software and hardware, so compatibility issues are not a problem. They also now integrate well with Windows servers and networks so there is less of a disadvantage when accessing network resources. Application compatibility remains a challenge, but there are 3rd party applications that can be used to run Windows programs on a Mac.
- The Cloud is not secure: Aside from the fact that we’ve been storing very sensitive information on the “cloud” for years in the form of online banking, credit cards, and now health information, the fact remains that cloud technology providers like BCS partner Dropbox, have everything to lose if they suffered any sort of major data breach. In most cases, data is encrypted in a way that cannot be defeated by anyone except the owner(s).
- Hackers aren’t interested in small businesses: Smaller companies often provide an enticing target for hackers, most of which are overseas and beyond the reach of the American justice system. Many do not have the level of security of larger firms so hackers may find it easier to compromise their systems. And since many small firms work with Fortune 500 they can be used as a round-about way to attack these firms. Keep in mind that most hacker attacks target users instead of a network directly. Also be aware that most firewalls that are currently used by small businesses are obsolete and unable to block modern hacking attacks.
- Desktop PCs are obsolete: You may have read about the demise of the PC (read “The PC is Dead” Washington Times, January 8th 2014). The detractors argue that they can be replaced with a portable devices or by PCs that can only be used to access the internet (i.e. Chromebooks). While this may be true with some users, particularly with consumers, it’s unlikely to take hold in the workplace any time soon. People who do real work using computers require a large display, keyboard, and mouse. And in fact, dual monitors have been shown to increase productivity even further. So for most workers, replacing their PC with a tablet and/or smart phone could never work.
- Your IT provider tells you your system will run faster if you upgrade your switch/cabling/server/other costly item: While equipment sometimes fails or becomes obsolete, it’s rare that a given problem can be solved with a network related or server upgrade. Network equipment in particular will last for years if properly maintained. We find that many companies who were told to upgrade the network or replace their server only to find that the problem they were trying to solve is still there.
About BCS: We are Apple and Microsoft certified. We have active partnerships with Dropbox, Fortinet, ESET, and Hitman Pro. We carry our own brand of custom PCs and often include them in our monthly agreements for free. We perform a thorough analysis before recommending the purchase of any piece of equipment and most importantly, we guarantee results.