Dinosaurs and desktops: can your business IT cope with the new world?

Written by Michael Smith on the 18th of November, 2014

The hazards of obsolete technology: chained to the desktop for the rest of time.

Everyone knows about the dinosaurs, but no-one really knows why they became extinct. The commonly held belief is that there was some form cataclysmic event that wiped them out or they failed to evolve to the world that followed.

And when you think about it, that’s more or less the situation in which technology leaves us all now, both personally and in business. The cataclysmic event has been the rise of the Internet and without sounding too dramatic, we must evolve with it or die. We have already seen oversized corporate creatures disappear, as well as new, more dynamic organisms emerging.

If you think I’m talking twaddle, then just think about it for a moment. Look at home-entertainment: my son forced me to buy Apple TV during half-term mainly since Blockbuster keeled over and died, we have been devoid of decent movies. All our music is now delivered and distributed into the home via the cloud using Spotify and Sonos (sorry, HMV).

In business life, cloud technology is what we are about and we’re utterly paperless. Every function is delivered using cloud tech on any device we choose - even direct debits for services are automated and issued from Xero. Our travel costs are considerably reduced because we use Hangouts to deliver demonstrations and attend remote meetings. Our customers have all their support questions answered like clockwork in Zendesk. Even our inbound and outbound calls can be dealt with and recorded in Zendesk, because we have been smart enough to integrate a contact management solution into the platform.

As a technology service provider our job is all about transition. Most SME businesses are still chained to clunky-desktop PCs and laptops, connected to on-site servers or hosted versions in overloaded datacentres. Paper is still used as though it is a free gift of nature. Financial software still brings the countless businesses to a standstill when the disks have to go to the external accountant to create the management accounts. Customers pleas for help still get lost on post-it notes and phone system voice-mail services - or worse still, you are put into the expensive merry-go-round that is their 0845 help-desk number.

So why are businesses so slow to wake up to the opportunity and threat? Well, that's the fault of the dinosaurs - in this, case IT dinosaurs. The old IT crowd still feed on a diet of inflexible, out-of-date software and hardware solution. Their world is one of upgrades, wires, boxes from hardware vendors and making sure that no-one else in a business really knows what’s going on.

The cloud is killing this world. Technology is now about business process, automation and integration and if deployed correctly it can free up your people to make you more efficient, effective and profitable.

The new world is upon us and for those that choose to embrace, you will find happiness on whatever device you fancy. However, if you continue to grumble and stumble around on your desktop at work and your PC at home then prepare to be exhibited in a Natural History Museum in the not-too-distant future.

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