An early version of the Raspberry Pi (Image: paz.ca on Flickr)
One of the hardest tasks facing small or independent businesses is choosing and using appropriate IT. These days technology is an essential part of almost any business, be it for social media, keeping accounts, sending invoices or simply phoning customers. But there’s such a bewildering choice of available tech that it’s hard to know what’s best.
Members of the younger generation, having grown up with technology as an integral part of their lives, speak a language that the pre-IT generation is still struggling to learn. The concern now, though, is that these users have become so familiar with the end product that they have forgotten what a computer really is.
They either don’t know or are not interested in how it is put together in the first place or what building blocks make up computer software.
Step forward Raspberry Pi, a cheap and fun new product that is, in effect, a simple computer you can build on yourself and use to learn the basics of computer coding.
Although its aim is to help people learn about computer coding and the nuts and bolts of computing, it’s perhaps worth reminding us all that what we have in front of us is simply a tool. Seeing a computer’s component parts may be a good way to demystify technology, helping us all to look beyond the shiny new screens and the sophisticated software and get back to first principles.
What is your business about? What would help to streamline its processes? What technology is available to help?
Perhaps by seeing this kernel of a computer for what it is, small businesses can gain the confidence to ask and look for technology that will work for them rather than thinking that somehow they have to find a way to fit the business to the available IT.
After all, a top of the range BMW may be fun to drive, look good and cost a fair bit to run, but perhaps for now all you need is a bike.