Frontier -- Special Report
Five Things You Don't Need Now
E-gads! If you actually bought all the new technology touted for small business today, you'd go broke before you had it all out of the box. Our advice: Keep one hand firmly clasped on your wallet and clip out this nonshopping list of products to avoid.Voice Technology: Yes, we'll dictate letters to our PCs. But don't throw out your keyboard, says Aberdeen Group's Dave Hofferberth. When it comes to spreadsheets and other formatted tasks, it will always be simpler to type in your data.Wireless LANs: Pitched as a simple way to create a Local Area Network, they're too slow for most small companies. You'll need more bandwith as you grow, says Yankee Group's Michael Lauricella, and that means staying wired.
Voice via DSL: Predictions of 10 lines over a pair of copper wires sound good, but they're just that--predictions, Lauricella says. As a practical matter, DSL providers aren't ready to completely replace your phone company.Video telephony: The picture phone was the future at the 1965 World's Fair. It will still be the future in 2009, sniffs Kneko Burney, a small business technology analyst at Cahner's InStat Group.Two-way satellite links: Predictions that orbital systems will soon sweep away land-based Web access aren't well-grounded. Don't expect two-way high-speed links till the new decade's end, says Jupiter Communications' Joe Laszlo.