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.