Can Mobile Devices and Cloud Computing Services Replace a Traditional IT Infrastructure?

November 08, 2012 by Alex Collins, IT Services Consultant

Lately, it seems as if almost every employee in almost every organization is using a company or personal smartphone for business tasks. It also seems as if more and more employees are requesting that their desktop and laptop computers be replaced with a tablet PC. When these mobile devices are used with cloud computing services and productivity apps, it may provide a strong argument for completely replacing a traditional IT infrastructure based on servers, PCs, laptops, thin clients, and virtualization, but All Covered urges caution before making the move to a totally mobile IT infrastructure.

In our opinion

All Covered has been providing IT outsourcing services for more than a decade, and we have experienced the shift from large desktop computers, to laptops and thin clients, to virtualized environments. Now, the newest trend indicates a shift toward mobile computing that focuses on using mobile devices with limited hard disk space, internet connectivity, and cloud services. While we have seen this mobility trend grow, we have noticed that there still seems to be a need for desktop computers, thin clients, and virtualized environments.

All Covered believes that there are justifiable reasons for both maintaining a more traditional IT infrastructure and embracing the mobile technologies provided by smartphones, tablets, and cloud computing. All Covered advises that if your organization is considering moving to a mobile device and cloud-based infrastructure it carefully considers how data is used. Simply put, consider whether your staff members consume or create data.

Data consumption

Mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet PCs are great for consuming data. By this, we mean that a portable device like an iPad is great to use as an email reader, e-reader, a personal video player, an internet browser, and execute other tasks that can be completed by touching the screen with a finger or stylus. All of these activities focus on viewing or "consuming data." Tablets and smartphones tend to lack separate peripheral input devices such as keyboards and mouses, instead requiring a user to tap an onscreen-keyboard which can make it tedious to create anything more than the shortest email or twitter feed, social media post, or IM text.

Data creation

The more traditional IT infrastructure that uses traditional workstations, laptop computers, and thin clients makes it easier for users to create data. Larger monitors and peripheral devices make it easier for users to input or manipulate large quantities of data that are often found in spreadsheets and databases.

A combination of the two

Instead of treating mobile and traditional IT infrastructures as an all or nothing buy-in, consider adopting both solutions. Give smartphones to all employees so that they can keep in touch through email and IM. Provide tablets to employees that don't typically manipulate or view large amounts of data. Provide more traditional workstations and laptop computers to your organization's power users that create and manipulate large quantities of data.

Learn more

All Covered believes that the best IT infrastructure for your organization is the one that will support your organizations tasks and enable employees to easily create and consume data. To learn more about how integrating into your existing IT environment mobile devices might be beneficial, or to learn more about moving toward a mobile and cloud-based infrastructure, please contact the technology experts at All Covered at 866-446-1133.