Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash
Most people who start a business need very little in the way of hardware. Usually, a laptop, printer, phone and maybe some specialized IT equipment like scanners is all you need. As your business grows, you soon start to need far more hardware, software and staff to be able to continue to work efficiently. Unless you are a bit of a tech demon it is all too easy for you to get behind the curve and end up using outdated IT systems. This can lead to you missing out and not being as productive as your competitors.
Take for example virtual machines, which you can learn more about here. Many entrepreneurs have no idea what they are, so cannot appreciate the benefits using them could bring to their business.
Once companies start to expand, they typically switch to using servers. As they add operations or start new projects they tend to add a new server. Buying, running and maintaining all of those servers eventually becomes very expensive.
In most cases, virtual machines are a practical alternative to setting up and running numerous servers. They take up a lot less space and you need less power to run them. Plus, they are typically easier to keep up to date. You do not need any special networking software, so anyone with a basic understanding of IT can maintain and run virtual machines (VMs).
The other great thing about VMs is that they provide the ability to create different IT working environment. It is even possible to run multiple operating systems. This is particularly important for firms that are involved in software and app development because it enables them to carry out testing in several operating systems.
It is also possible to set up different hardware environments using virtual machines. If you work across several sites or your workers spend time on the road virtual machines can make a huge difference to how efficiently everyone works. This is mostly because these machines can be copied, which, of course, means that they can be easily replicated. Plus, it means that VMs can be carried around on pen drives, or for bigger systems, hard drives. This allows workers to take the same working environment they use in the office with them on the road. They can plug the pen drive or hard disk into any x86 piece of compatible hardware and get to work straight away. There is no learning curve or need to try to work around the fact that they do not have access to the software packages they are used to.
VMs also provide you with a really easy way to have access to a backup system. This is really important. Should something go wrong and your system goes down you simply have to switch to one of your virtual copies. This enables you to carry on working as normal.
If you want to learn more about how to use virtual machines to improve productivity and save money, you can do so here. This video explains the benefits in more detail and provides you with several practical examples.
Also published on Medium.