Following are four innovative technologies and several Web services that small business owners can use to increase productivity, build reliability, and operate their business from any computer in the world:
REMOTE ACCESS SYSTEMS
Being able to remotely access your files from an outside location is not the sexiest topic in the world, says Ramon Ray, a small business technology expert, blogger and author of Technology Solutions for Growing Businesses ($29.95; Amazom). However, as people become more mobile, knowing that you can access a sales proposal from your home on the weekend or while in the car with a client, for instance, can mean the difference between profits and losses.
Pros: Accessing a host computer from offsite is quite like controlling a remote control toy. With Websites like GoToMyPC.com the user can take control of the files stored locally on her host computer from an internet-connected computer anywhere in the world.
Cons: While GoToMyPC.com will provide you access to your office computer from any computer you choose, it does not automatically backup data on your host computer. Also, with many remote access systems, a plug-in might need to be installed on the host computer, which might deter some users from accessing it.
Costs: For one PC, it will cost $19.95 per month on an individual plan, but a business plan costs $33.90 per month for a two-computer license, and for three to 20 PCs, prices start at $12.95 per month per PC.
More remote access software:
PCAnywhere is $199 for one user and his computers.