High-speed Internet connectivity and the rise of the cloud is changing organisations’ approach to desktop PCs, enabling these large devices to be replaced with palm-sized micro-computers.
In today’s world of digitisation and cloud, there is no longer any need for the tower PC in most work environments, except for graphics-intensive jobs. While this is unlikely to lead to the end of the traditional desktop PC, it does suggest that, for those organisations with access to high-speed Internet, they can instead look to utilise micro PCs as the interface with the cloud.
According to Xavier Nel, head of product at CloudGate, micro-computing is essentially about miniaturising computers to eliminate the traditional big-box PC. This is achieved by cramming the same levels of technology and power into a much smaller form factor, creating a device that is smaller, more versatile and more effective.
“With high-speed connectivity, the cloud becomes the platform that will host bandwidth-intensive applications and programs, meaning that far less storage space is required on a PC’s hard drive. This again plays into the nature of micro PCs, which generally have around 64Gb of storage space, compared to an entry-level PC that would offer 500Gb,” he explains.
“If you think about it, virtually everything is streamed these days – from movies on Netflix to music on Spotify – so a large volume of local storage on the device itself is no longer necessary. Moreover, large hard drives like those found in traditional PCs also have lots of moving parts and generate a lot of heat, both of which create additional potential points of failure. Micro PCs, on the other hand, use solid-state drives, so there are fewer moving parts to break down.”
Nel suggests that although uptake of micro PCs remains slow at present, this is most likely since many businesses are still suspicious of the cloud, preferring to physically host their equipment on-premise where they can see it. This is a logical, but certainly not a strategic, approach.
“For me, coupling the cloud and micro PCs is a genuine ‘no brainer’. After all, these devices are cheaper, more effective, consume far less power, take up far less real estate and ultimately help to reduce an organisation’s overall carbon footprint, both in terms of the power they require and – because they are only palm-sized – are easier to dispose of at end of life.”
“It is particularly important for smaller businesses to begin to understand the benefits these devices offer, as the benefits outlined above, while applicable to businesses of all sizes, will have a significant positive impact on the bottom lines of smaller companies.”
He adds that due to their size, these devices can also be easily mounted somewhere out of the way, where they are in no danger of physical damage, something that is not so simply done with a desktop. Besides, continues Nel, micro PCs have built-in WiFi, which means that using them also allows the business to eliminate the vast quantities of cabling usually associated with desktop PCs, while Bluetooth can be used to connect it to peripherals, further reducing the cabling required.
“For any organisation considering a hardware refresh, it is important to understand not only the enormous benefits micro PCs offer but more pertinently, that these devices are part of the vanguard of the new technology revolution.”
“Thus, instead of purchasing equipment that is already considered ‘older technology’, businesses should instead think about the fact that a well-specced micro PC, coupled to the cloud, will not only deliver every benefit a desktop can but also offers a host of additional benefits that boost efficiencies while reducing costs. When you look at it like this, there can be little doubt that this is the wave of the future,” he concludes.