The amount of data and information that is created in business has exploded with the growth of technology and the Internet. Businesses of all sizes move massive amounts of data and require a wide range of products and services to meet their business needs. Computers, servers and other networked devices are all key ingredients for a business to flourish and grow in today's environment.
Computers and Servers
Laptops, desktops, tablets and dedicated servers are used in many businesses and are often linked to share information and resources. Laptops and tablets will also serve multiple functions in the business because of the easy portability and wide availability of Wi-Fi. Dedicated servers and hard drives focused on storage and compute tasks have grown in numbers and importance.
Peripheral or Auxiliary Devices
Peripheral devices are also called auxiliary or secondary devices and include keyboards, printers, optical storage like Blu-ray or DVD, mice, webcams, projectors, monitors and external hard drives. These devices do not contribute to the computer’s primary function, but assist in the overall function and experience by connecting through interfaces such as USB or serial ports.
Network Infrastructure Connections
Network infrastructures are interconnected and used for both internal and external communications. It is the communication path within the organization and includes equipment like routers, cables, switches and local-area network cards. An integral part of the network is the software that operates and manages the infrastructure and includes the operating systems and security applications.
Multi-function or all-in-one machines that copy, print, scan and fax are used in work settings to share its use among groups of employees. Individual printers or copiers will be also linked together or networked for the same reasons. Using the Wi-Fi capabilities on these products, users can interact with these machines through their smartphones, laptops and tablets while away from the office.
Phone Systems and Smartphones
Smartphones have dramatically changed the way people communicate in business today. Many business calls are now made on smartphones instead of office desktop phones. A Private Branch Exchange (PBX) system is still used in many businesses to manage and route landline calls for employees, while Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) has become an inexpensive way for callers to use their Internet connection. Laptops, tablets and desktops also double as phones when using products like Skype, Gotomeeting and WebEx.
The Rise of Cloud Storage
Cloud storage is using remote servers that are accessed via the Internet. The servers are generally located within an existing data center managed and controlled by a reputable and experienced third-party vendor. Sometimes a business will take on this responsibility within its own IT department. Cloud storage is used for primary storage, secondary storage, disaster recovery, backup services or collocation of data.
Mike Sweeney has been an entrepreneur and writer for more than 25 years. His work ranges from writing articles on business and technology to consulting with Fortune 500 companies, government agencies and small businesses alike. Sweeney holds a Bachelor of Arts in business administration from Loyola University.