As a small business owner, you know how important it is to right size your applications to your business requirements and workflows.
Buy short and your business processes will grind to a standstill. But if you overbuy on your business applications, you'll waste a lot of money on a system that is ultimately too sophisticated to be used by your staff and your limited IT resources.
Business server software is an area where right sizing your application takes on critical importance. Your server software solution is the backbone of your entire network. Blow it here and you'll pay for it with an avalanche of headaches and wasted resources that will cripple your company's computing environment – not to mention your personal well-being.
Windows Small Business Server (SBS) software has emerged as a leader in small business networking. You've probably heard of many of the advantages it brings to a small business workplace. But there are also some disadvantages and drawbacks of Windows SBS that you need to know about before you commit to an implementation or conversion.
- Hardware requirements. For many small businesses, upgrading to Windows SBS also means a hardware upgrade. Windows SBS is a powerful server application, but if you're planning to run it on an old computer or an office hand-me-down, you will likely discover that the unit you had in mind doesn't have the necessary processor speed or internal memory.
- Licensing costs. In addition to purchasing a license to install Windows SBS on your server, you may also be required to purchase user licenses. This is a tough pill for some small business owners to swallow. Although you will receive five client user licenses with either the Standard or Premium edition, you will have to cough up additional capital for the sixth and subsequent users (or workstations) that require access to the network.
- Hidden costs. Windows Small Business Server is designed for use in small businesses, recognizing the IT restrictions that most small companies face. However, network maintenance demands still exist. There is no way around the need for trained support staff, so you will need to factor those costs into the decision-making process.
- Conversion confusion. Disruption and limited hassles are inevitable in any network server software conversion. Windows Small Business Server is no more difficult to install than any other server solution, but you'll need to plan for the kinds of costs (monetary and non-monetary) that are typically associated with a conversion.