Whether you are a business owner or a freelancer who works from home, you have most likely asked yourself at one point ‘do I need a server for my business?’ Is it necessary to run a successful business? To answer that question, we'll discuss what are servers, what are their uses, and how they help businesses flourish and succeed.
A server refers to a computer or a collection of hardware, such as networked computers or hard drives, or software that receives messages and requests from other computers and responds to them, creating a peer-to-peer network. Devices that interact with servers are also known as clients. The main purpose of a server is to manage resources, such as controlling access to websites, sending, and receiving emails, and even hosting websites. Some servers are limited to performing only one task and are called dedicated servers.
Depending on the type of business, servers can help in a number of ways:
Servers play a vital role in communication with other computers. Maintaining frequent and regular contact with clients is one of the most important aspects of a business. It is the primary application of the server that enables a business owner to communicate with clients across the world via email, skype, and other programs or applications. This communication ensures that the clients’ needs are clearly identified, and the product or service provided meets those requirements.
Another advantage of servers is that they allow business owners to stay available to their clients 24/7. Being able to offer customer support at any time of the day or night will result in higher customer satisfaction and gives the business an edge over competitors who offer customer support only during hours of operation. Being available round the clock not only ensures shorter timelines for the resolution of customer complaints but also gives businesses the advantage of being able to communicate recent developments or offers at the drop of a hat.
Backing up data (for both individuals and businesses) is not a choice in today’s digitized world; rather it is a necessity. Businesses can no longer afford to not back up their data. A server maintains data backup that helps businesses restore data in a timely manner in case it is lost. Whether because of a weather anomaly or other reasons, server backups allow employees to ensure business operations even in the most adverse circumstances.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic has forced a global move to remote work. Remote access is possibly the biggest advantage of servers in current circumstances. They allow employees to work from anywhere in the world by connecting to a dedicated server. Businesses that had servers in place made the move to remote work seamlessly and those without servers struggled.
Of course, with remote access possible, you may wonder if there's an inherent security risk. Thankfully, there are various tools available for companies to protect their information. Servers use encryption and firewalls to block access for unwanted users.
Most servers are easily customizable and offer flexibility for businesses to set up in a way that suits their distinct needs. This means that a small business will not be required to spend thousands of dollars to set up a server. Rather, they can start with a small one suitable for their needs and expand its capability as and when required. Although they may not be at the forefront, servers can be an essential element in the success of a business.
Hardware can sometimes be challenging to maintain especially for businesses that do not specialize in technology. A while back, most servers needed timely maintenance and urgent repairs for technical faults. However, maintenance-free servers are now available in the market, skipping this headache.
These servers are known as cloud serves and offer web-based storage. Cloud servers are offered by web hosting service providers on a rental basis and have an annual fee. Cloud servers have dramatically reduced the costs and maintenance of servers, making them more accessible for smaller businesses.
Would your business benefit from a server? Servers can find use in almost any field. We've taken a look at a few of the more common businesses and professions that servers can take, but most of these benefits can apply to every job.
Photographers take tons of photos; they not only need the hard drive space to store them but also the capacity to make multiple edits before the shots are finalized. A server makes the life of a photographer easier since:
· It has the required storage capacity and can store up to thousands of images and videos and makes for a solid backup solution.
· The data stored is accessible from any computer on the server ensuring access and flexibility in media management
· Various programs and apps can be downloaded on the server giving them a better range of options to process the images.
With the explosion of social media, the demand for editors has been ever increasing. Professionals in a lot of different fields are now learning to edit videos and images. A server can help make their job easier in several ways.
· Small businesses and freelance editors can make use of servers as collaborative tools, sending files to one another through the server, saving time over uploading files to portable hard drives or online FTPs.
· High-end servers can be used for additional processing power to speed up the process of rendering videos and special effects by offloading time-consuming visual effects and video enhancement to the server. Servers allow them to process higher-resolution, better-quality videos.
· Lastly, a server is a fantastic backup solution. making automatic backups at regular intervals. So, even in the event of a sudden shutdown, the editor will be able to recover most of their work.
Banks and other financial institutions are the first targets for hackers and identity thieves. Thus, having a server is not only recommended but necessary.
· A server offers banking institutions improved security. By incorporating various checks and balances such as two-step authentication, firewalls, and encryption, servers are the way to beef up the bank’s system security and protect against unwanted attacks.
· Banks can have clients spread out across the world. To cater to this higher load, most banks opt for dedicated servers which ensure reliability and consistent service improving customer satisfaction. This results in a better user experience and better brand image.
· Most banks are now offering online banking; it is no longer a luxury. Having a dedicated server optimizes resources to ensure your business stays up and running. Imagine trying to transfer funds and your bank’s website is crashed!
POS refers to a system or machine where the client makes a payment for products or services. machines are frequently used these days. Since POS is now deployed at almost every store, including small businesses, it is essential to ensure continuity and periodic backup.
· The backend server supports the POS solution and is essentially the backbone of the system. It should be kept in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all server for POS. Rather, it is customized depending on the needs of each client.
· For selecting a POS server, it is most important to look for three attributes which are consistency, long life, and ability to handle multiple transactions simultaneously.
The success of accounting firms relies on the accuracy of their data and security is an integral part of the process. Although there are many aspects of success, such as flexibility in operations and remote working, safety is essential.
· A server allows flexibility to ensure that multiple colleagues working in geographically diverse locations can collaborate and run checks on data accuracy.
· Cloud servers have essentially automated the tedious task of manual bookkeeping dramatically reducing the number of errors and minimizing human input.
· Having a server also allows an accounting firm to offer a wide range of tools and services to clients including but not limited to ledger management, invoicing, and tax preparation.
If you have been running a business for some time, it is very likely that you already use a server but are simply unaware of it. A server plays an integral role in a business’s success; just like you would not want your competitors to have access to your unique selling proposition (USP), how can you consciously have your sensitive data and information outside of your company’s control. To learn more about a solution customized only for you, please visit your local Micro Center!
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Looking for more information about servers and workstations? We’ve got full pages of helpful tips, as well as guides on how a High Powered Workstation Could Help Your Business, and Boosting Productivity with a Workstation Computer. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for, don’t hesitate to post a new discussion and the Community will be happy to help!
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