Brother did a survey of small business’ attitudes to technology:
- 85% report productivity suffers because of technological problems
- 77% report problems cause missed deadlines and opportunities
- 31% would give up a week of vacation to fix things
- 66% report they are overwhelmed by tech choices
Here’s where FLOSS can help. A small business can migrate to FLOSS in a day or two, often over a weekend, and have software that just keeps on working. Problems that drop off the radar:
- malware and slowing down – The software is not bundled with the PC in many cases so you are not pestered to load up the PC to the point where it cannot do the job because someone wants to sell you more software and hardware.
- updating individual drivers, applications and operating systems – GNU/Linux operating systems like Debian GNU/Linux have a software package manager which allows one person to upgrade all the software (drivers, OS, and applications) without walking around. A lot of the testing and fiddling gets done by the organization which makes sure everything works together nicely.
- having to replace PCs every few years – Since they don’t slow down they will do everything the tenth year that they did the first. You can even speed them up by moving applications to powerful servers and give the client machines even less to do/mess up.
- having to pay for software licences – Instead of being taxed for every feature of your IT system, you get the ability to harness all the capabilities of your hardware for one low price, $0. You can invest that money in better hardware or other places in your business.
I’ve done a lot of work in schools which are the size of many small/medium businesses. Given a little planning, a lab or small department can be converted to run FLOSS and GNU/Linux in as little as 1 hour: change each machine to boot PXE and load software from a server and run all software on one or more servers instead of fighting with hardware and software problems on every PC. A few servers are much easier to maintain than a bunch of PCs. In a school lab, for instance, a single newer PC can run all the applications for the whole lab with no additional hardware and everyone gets the look and feel of a new machine on their screens. Many schools need no more applications than a good distro like Debian supply. Much of the work gets done with LibreOffice, a web browser and a few educational applications.
Let the world take care of your headaches by producing and sharing Free/Libre Open Source Software. The world is bigger than any corporation and can and does create its own software.