Migrating to Linux: Control your Destiny

Such is the title of an article in National Bank of Canada’s « Your Business Solution » magazine. I picked it up at the bank’s branch, while I was visiting several banks to get a security box for a customer.

IBM Linux article scanIt’s already interesting that IBM is advertising its Linux solutions to bank customers, but I really loved the 4 paragraphs and short bullet points explaining why going to Linux makes sense for any business, except for the phrase I highlighted. Well, this is marketing, after all.

The text:

Greater cost savings and efficiencies running Linux for SMBs has been key, but the biggest benefit for time and resource limited owners has been the ease of mind Linux brings. Unlike other operating systems, Linux does not need the frequent updates, security patches and ongoing maintenance.

Most important of all the things being said about Linux is the freedom it affords. With Linux, for the first time in a long time, organizations have the opportunity to have total control over their computing destiny. They can buy their server from anyone. They can get their software to work on any of the boxes they choose. They’re empowered to control their computing environment.

The Blossoming of Linux
Over the last two years, Linux has matured so that it is comparable to almost every other commercial system. There’s very little it can’t do that companies need. Linux’s performance on server hardware has become more sophisticated and powerful and can handle all sorts of applications whether it be e-mail, online procurement, contact management, hosting the company’s website, or network security. Not only is Linux handling these applications but also many users are seeing much quicker processing times than other systems, and at a fraction of the cost.

Shifting to Linux generally causes a reduction in the number of computers so many companies have switched to licenses based on the number of processors, which results in significant cost savings.

Decreasing the number of servers needed means consuming less power, consolidating applications and reducing the need for servicing and repairs which can translate into thousands of dollars in savings- vital resources that can be redirected to help your business grow.

How to implement Linux:

  • Use an outside expert to formalize your Linux pilot.
  • Make your staff part of the solution. Have them trained On Linux. Training can take less than a week.
  • Pilot a representative sample of applications (simple, big and complex) to get a flavor of how they will run on Linux.
  • Upgrade your business applications to open source as this will allow you to brand and modify applications to your business needs.
  • Phase out client side applications as Linux allows applications to be Web-based thereby increasing efficiency and lowering total cost of ownership.
  • Negotiate a long-term service contract, which in essence acts as a long-term warranty. It will control your costs which ultimately saves you money.
  • Visit http://www.ibm.com/businesscenter/ca/ for more information on Linux and other successful IT strategies that can help your SMB grow.

    update: in case you’re wondering, no, I didn’t type the article. I used the free Windows 98 OCR software that came with my scanner. So far the top reason for keeping Win98 on my system, besides IE testing 😀