Several months ago, I was in a local Starbucks and a local IT person with showing me his remote desktop, accessible from anywhere. Started his computer, as usual, but he immediately logged onto his remote desktop and from there access his applications, email and files.
We’re used to hosted applications or cloud based computing, but many of us have not quite embraced the scenario of having a company host ALL of our files and ALL of our applications. I saw a demonstration of IT On Command and if you have a high speed Internet connection this solution could be save money and frustration for many business.
Normally you work with an in-house or local IT staff to install one or more servers on your network and ensure the network is protected from all sorts of attacks. You then install a variety of software products such as Microsoft Office (no more Word Perfect?) and QuickBooks (or some other accounting solution). Don’t forget to install your email server or have it hosted by Google or my favorite, Intermedia.
These costs alone will run you a few thousand per month in support fees, periodic upgrade and installation fees and of course licensing fees for the software.
IT ON Command’s premise is that you do not need ANY servers or software of your own, you only need a connection to the Internet. Your desktop, software and files are all centrally served from IT ON Command.
You can be on a notebook computer in the local coffee shop, on a computer in your office, or your branch office employees can easily access corporate files and applications.
You can choose to use hosted application, which provide you with some of this functionality, but you might still have some software you have installed on servers. Or you can let IT ON Command provide you with access to ALL your software, including email, including a “virtual desktop”. IT On Command is but one of dozens of companies who can provide you with a virtual desktop and access to all your applications and files through the Internet.
Price – you pay on fee per month. IT On Command estimates that you’ll pay about $5,000 per month for 50 employees using their basic service.
The downside of this approach, one company hosting everything, is that if anything ever goes wrong with your outsourced IT provider, technically, or maybe a dispute over money owed to them, they can hold you hosted. What you can do is ask for regular backups of all your applications and data so that just in case you run into problems at least you have “a copy of your business data” which can be installed on a server in a few hours (or days) if necessary.