Whether you are a web developer, IT professional, or simply the owner of a small business, you know how expensive advancements in technology can be. However, not everyone is in it for the profits and, for Eben Upton and his fellow colleagues at St. John’s College, Cambridge, their invention in affordable computer technology was truly a work of passion.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation was formed in 2008 and was comprised of Upton and multiple other computer science colleagues in order to create a small and affordable computer alternative for the promotion of teaching computer science in schools across the globe. However, after the Raspberry Pi model B launched in 2012 for only $35, IT professionals, businesses, and technology lovers alike took notice of the clever device and its practicality in many aspects other than just education. Offering a 700 MHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, two USB ports, and a GPU capable of 1080p display, there was no telling where the advancements and projects revolving around this tiny computer would take us, however, one thing was for sure. The future of business and affordable technology was here and the advancements would only be greater and greater from then on.
So, how do you take this computer that fits in your pocket and transform it into the tools necessary to envision the future of business in your own company? Throughout the past six years since the invention of Model B, many more revisions to the brand have been made and countless projects completed. With the knowledge and expertise these individuals possess, we have begun to see countless advancements in the business industry and, by knowing what they are and how you can create them in your own company, you can truly have your cake and eat it too–or should I say Pi?
- Web Development- Code, Practice, and Tools
For web developers, the Raspberry Pi is truly a dream come true. Imagine the ability to not only learn web development, coding, and languages like node.js, Python, and Ruby but also do it for only $35 and know your mistakes won’t matter. In fact, the Raspberry Pi is capable of running multiple editions of Linux as well its own server and countless languages likewise. On top of this, the tools are completely free and the server allows you to practice without the fear of being forced to trash the costly hardware or software in the process.
This platform can allow new web developers the ability to practice in a consequence-free environment and learn multiple languages from an early age so they can enter the world of web development ahead of the game. However, the Raspberry Pi can also be used in a business setting with professional web developers due to the fact that this tech can be used to test applications in different environments, run source control systems, perform long-running data analysis tasks, automate back-ups, and test multi-server seteps for MYSQL replication or parallel processing. Through this, you can give your web developers an extremely useful tool for under $100 and allow them to create responsive, user-friendly sites that truly represent your products and your business as a whole.
- Business Security- Finding Weak Points Before They Fail You
Every business has gone through it at least once. Security breaches are a major issue across the globe and even the smallest businesses face cybersecurity threats often. However, using the Raspberry Pi, you can test your systems and policies firsthand to create an effective offensive security process and ensure that you do not fall prey to the MIS security breaches other companies tend to experience.
Amongst the countless recreational uses of this AMR, The Raspberry Pi can actually be used in conjunction with Kali Linux and even has a Kali image built for it likewise. By using Kali Linux, you can create a LUKS encryption for your hard disk, directory, and partition and ensure that any and all sensitive data from your company’s computers is encrypted and safely stored accordingly to solve and protect complex data. Similarly, by using the multiple forms of data security, erasure, and analysis the Raspberry Pi offers, including Kali Linux and Shred as well as KrolLDiscovery and custom code, you can ensure that the data from your computers is being stored effectively and being removed when possible.
Eco-Friendly Breakthroughs- Temperature Monitoring, Indoor Quality, Lighting, and Web-Controlled Power Strips
Perhaps one of the most exciting breakthroughs in the business industry regarding the Raspberry Pi involves its ability to create eco-friendly software and systems for your office space. In the past, the options for an energy-efficient workplace were expensive and not entirely efficient either. However, using the Raspberry Pi, multiple highly skilled individuals have created some amazing and affordable tech that can help businesses reduce energy, electricity, and greenhouse gas emissions with ease.
If a green workplace is something you are a serious advocate for, then you probably are aware of the fact that the temperature and indoor air quality of your office can actually affect your environment. However, using a Raspberry Pi Model B along with an SD card, temperature and humidity sensor, and power supply, you can create a temperature monitor for under $50 that connects to an MYSQL server and records data and analyzes ways to make your your AC usage more effective and green in the future. Similarly, a product offered by a company known as Tindie connects as a snap-on board to your Raspberry Pi allowing you to control indoor air quality, noise pollution, temperature, humidity, light, and air pressure for only $90.
Another way to utilize the Raspberry Pi for energy efficiency is by controlling both your lighting as well as your power sources. Using the Raspberry Pi, you can significantly reduce the cost of a business PDU and instead create a web-controlled power strip that allows you to track which outlets are being utilized. Similarly, by incorporating a CT Clamp, you can measure the alternating current of your company and determine the electricity consumption of your business so as to reduce energy consumption as a whole. Lastly, you can actually create your very own smart light using the Raspberry Pi to reduce the electricity usage and power production of the lighting in your company with ease. Most people are unaware of the power usage of various forms of lightbulbs however by explaining lighting to them and utilizing advancements such as the smart light, you can significantly decrease the power usage your company uses and create that eco-friendly business you have always dreamed of.
- ‘Bueller? Bueller?’- Customized Attendance Board
Although this is more of a perk than a drastic technological breakthrough, we all know the chaos of keeping track of attendance and tracking the actual work employees complete daily. However, using this customized attendance board which is created using none other than the Raspberry Pi, you can sync multiple phones to the server using bluetooth and keep track of who is in the office and who is not at any given time.
Although this form of technology demands that your employees not only carry a phone but also have bluetooth on when entering the front door, it can be a wonderful alternative to countless other trackers and attendance softwares and can help you to determine who is spending the most effective amount of time at their desk, who is slacking off, and who needs to take more breaks throughout the day.
Similarly, by using Filemaker 14 barcode techniques, RFID technology, and a Raspberry Pi HAT (Hardware Attached on Top), you can create a fully functional virtual timecard which responds to each and every employee’s entry and departure from the office space meaning that not only can you keep track of the employee’s attendance but also keep track of their hours worked for payroll likewise.
- I aim but to ‘serve’- Light Internal Web Traffic and NTP Servers Made Easy
For any company looking to set up an affordable server for light internal or web traffic, the Raspberry Pi offers just that. In fact, by connecting multiple Raspberry Pi servers together, you can create a fairly effective Server cluster for far less than other companies offer. Although the server can truthfully only be used for light traffic and web use, it can easily run Apache, PSP, and MYSQL making it still a very effective piece of server equipment overall.
Similarly, you can take the Raspberry Pi and program it to run Network Time Protocol and add a GPS/PPS receiver to convert your box into a stratum-1 NTP server. Once done, you can use this server to perform directory-based authentication without running the risk of false negatives due to authentication load and latency. By using this server in your company, you can ensure that authentication timeouts are no longer an issue you face and get more work done as a whole because of it.
- The Facts- Troubleshooting, Data Analysis, and Business Intelligence
Although data analysis and business intelligence are wonderful ways to build and improve upon your business model, they tend to be fairly expensive solutions. In fact, the high cost of building your own analytics and trying to improve upon your current profits is reason enough to turn to the easy and affordable choices that the Raspberry Pi provides instead.
Every company wants to protect from electronic threats, however, the best way to do so is by repairing threats that you already are facing and building stronger system and platforms for your data and sensitive information alike. Similarly, no one wants to walk in the office to a flawed computer or system and be forced to spend the entire day trying to figure it out. Luckily, by using the Raspberry Pi and custom code, you can create a tool that can help you to check IP connectivity and check and test computer components likewise.
Similarly, the Raspberry Pi can be used as a business intelligence dashboard that can help employees to compare their performance in relations to quotas or targets that have been set as well as allow you to monitor the behavior of key computer systems as well. By doing so, you can track your business and employee performance in order to find weak points which you wish to improve on. Lastly, the Raspberry Pi can be used to analyze data throughout periods of time which you can then transform into company initiatives and goals in order to improve your analytics as a whole.
Although the success rate in business regarding the Raspberry Pi throughout the last five years has been immense, there is still much improvement left to be made. For instance, the fact that the Pi is limited to specific web applications and Linux-Based programs makes it difficult to work with Windows’ based programs leaving you with a choice between ditching Windows OS or dealing with complex procedures to acquire it. Despite the few setbacks this affordable little computer still faces, new models are still being introduced and perhaps the next one will find solutions to these problems in both business and IT as a whole.
Until then, the Raspberry Pi and the people using it to create useful projects for business and technology continue to expand and improve. There is no telling what the future holds in store but these useful applications may be a great way to get started on integrating its tech with your company and seeing the perks it can provide you with. In the end, everyone wants a piece of the Raspberry Pi and, luckily, there is always enough to go around.