As an IT consultant and engineer, I routinely visit several business locations each week and I’ve seen a lot of ways that people cut-corners on their IT infrastructure because they’re trying to avoid certain costs. The truth is that this strategy always comes back to bite you when you least expect it, and sometimes the consequences can be pretty severe. One of the biggest mistakes that I see business owners make is that they are using a custom desktop computer as a centralized server.
Most small and medium-sized businesses use a server because it allows them to centralize and share important files and databases so that their enterprise can operate smoothly. Some computer savvy business owners decide to custom build a desktop computer to run as their server because they feel like the cost of implementing an actual dedicated server is just too much. Well, I’m here to tell you that the cost of not running a true server can be much worse and, the fact is, you could be actually risking more than you realize.
What’s The Risk?
With all of these risks, who wants to support something like that? As an IT professional I can tell you that it wouldn’t make much sense for me to support a network running a custom desktop as a server because, when it fails I know I could get blamed, even though the real problem is that you were not using server-class hardware in your machine all along. So, even if you decide that you’re willing to spend a little on proactive monitoring, you may not be able to find an IT support firm that is willing to risk taking you on as a client.
What’s The Solution?
Things to Consider
So far I’ve talked a lot about the hard costs of implementing a new server for your business, and that’s plenty enough when you add up the expenses of hardware, software, and technician labor. But here’s something that you maybe haven’t thought about: How much money is it costing you every time you’re dealing with a computer problem? Every time your system crashes or your staff experiences some sort of glitch, you’re wasting your time trying to fix that stuff.
Also, if your server is unreliable because you’re using desktop hardware, the likelihood that you will experience a data loss event or security breach disaster is dramatically increased. Do you necessarily feel comfortable keeping your patient records on this sort of set-up, if you’re a doctor? Or, are you comfortable risking your case files, if you have a law practice? Or, if you’re a CPA, just imagine that you lost your client’s QuickBooks files, are you comfortable taking that risk?
These are all the things that you have to look at, and they’re all important. In my opinion, this is something that any business owner should be aware of.
about the author
Ashley has vast experience in the information technology field relating to computer and network services, including web development. For the past 20 years, Ashley has provided computer consulting and implementation for his customers. Ashley’s educational experience includes a Bachelor’s in Business Administration at the California State University of Fresno, as well as a being a Fluke Networks Certified Cabling Test Technician (CCTT), and CompTIA A+ Certified. | LinkedIn
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