By Robert Clearfield, Principal, Clearfield Consulting Group
I keep hearing that computer and internet pricing continues to drop while the performance for your buying dollar keeps increasing. Let’s take a look at the realities. Desktop computer and laptop pricing has pretty much leveled off. The bang for the buck had increased significantly, and that’s good. With the increased acceptance of Windows 7, older hardware just isn’t up to the task. Older hardware as in 2 to 3 years old. Newer PC’s have between 4 to 8 times the memory of predecessors. They’re quick, they’re slick, and they have a practical functional life of 3 years. The internet on the other hand is a little less dynamic. Most nonprofits are using either cable or phone company for service. In our geographic area, that generally means Comcast or Verizon with only a few notable exceptions. If we think of the internet as a public utility like the electric company and internet speed as the amount of power we want to buy it helps to keep things in perspective. One of my clients just replaced its DSL internet and telephone service with Cable. This decision lowered their monthly costs while improving their internet performance more than 10 fold. A true high speed internet connection for your organization is key, and worth every penny. This naturally begs the question: How Can My Nonprofit Tap Into The Newest Hi-Tech Solutions? It’s easy! First, you need to understand what you have in place today, as well as what you actually need today and what your needs will be tomorrow. Most nonprofits and other small businesses cannot afford to have an Information Technology department. In fact, most nonprofits and other small businesses should not have an Information Technology department. An IT staff of one will typically result in stale skills or an HR revolving door. Effective integration of PC’s and internet connectivity in today’s environment will allow your organization to inexpensively take advantage of functionality that used to be reserved for the big guys. Things like:
- Secure Remote Access to your Systems
- Receive Email Alerts When Systems are Down
- VOIP (Telephone over the internet)
- Remote Servers Hosted at a Secure Data Center
- Disaster Recovery Solutions
Interested? Excited? I’ve worked in IT for most of my career. Effective technology that works is still exciting to me.