Every now and then, I get questions from business owners about how much they should be leading their own technology decision process, as opposed to relying on third parties. My answer is usually built around their level of expertise, and the degree to which they have the time, energy, and resources to get involved.
Ideas and proposals from channel partners are readily accessible to most small business owners. After all, channel partners make their living from upgrading information technology and finding better ways to execute business processes. The common denominators here include price and performance. And while you may be, to some extent, dependent upon the aggregate wisdom of the channel, there are certain things you can do to get in front of the game, better understand the needs of your own company, and arguably better control your own destiny.
What wireless-N technology can do for your business?
It is projected that over the next three years, more than 1.3 billion wireless-enabled networked mobile devices will enter the marketplace. These mobile devices include net books, smart phones, notebook computers, tablet computers, and other devices. This explosion of wireless devices places more demand on the wireless network, which, in turn makes it essential to upgrade the network.
New services and applications, such as video conferencing, add to these bandwidth demands. Video-over-wireless devices, once perceived as consumer applications, have become established in the business environment as a way to reduce travel and training costs.
Here’s a checklist of what to consider—hardware and software—for any IP-based solution.
I’ve talked before about the benefits of video surveillance, including enhanced physical security, protecting valuable assets, and improving productivity. As a small business, though, a video surveillance solution may not be on your short list. You may think your money is better spent on those things that will help grow your business and increase revenue.
The truth is, video surveillance can provide your company with a strategic advantage by delivering data on customer preferences and responses, for example. As well, IP-based video surveillance is a cost-effective solution, because you can integrate it into your existing network.
Recognizing the value of video surveillance for your small business is just the first (albeit very important) step. Finding the solution that best fits your company is a longer path, involving hardware, software, and other considerations.
Perhaps some of us are more trusting than others, but for many small business leaders the prospect of upgrading their IT infrastructure is only slightly less adventurous than bungee jumping over a lava pit. Yes, upgrading the technology can offer a host of advantages and cost savings. But concerns about interoperability, unforeseen complications, the ability to operate the enhanced infrastructure, and sheer uncertainty often turn technology upgrades into a heart-palpitating thrill ride that is best delayed, if not altogether avoided. For some it just seems better to leave well enough alone. Thus, among these people, there seems to be a direct correlation between the degree to which what you’ve got is good enough and the willingness to try something new.
A very wise man by the name of Albert Einstein once said, “Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius—and a lot of courage—to move in the opposite direction.”
Much of Einstein’s wisdom could be applied to your business’s use of new technology. We know this to be a fact; technology can really improve your business’ performance. It can give your customers a better experience with your company’s products and services, and just make them happier. Technology can also improve your employees’ productivity; allowing them to communicate more effectively, and to resolve problems faster. But best of all, technology can improve the bottom line; your profits!