Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Editor's note: Our guest blogger is Jim Nonn, CIO at Egan Company, a Brooklyn Park, MN-based commercial contractor. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.
A year ago, we were looking for a solution that would avoid having a fleet of expensive, quickly outdated and slow Microsoft Windows laptops that constantly break or need replacing. I’ve heard stories from other construction firms that Monday mornings were like the movie Groundhog Day, with the IT team tackling the same four-foot high stack of malware-infected laptops over and over while work ground to a halt. I didn’t want to experience that.
After surveying the market, we decided to move to Chromebooks for our 140-person foreman staff. They’re lightweight, turn on and off in an instant, and provide easy access to business apps that we use every day.
Chromebooks also integrate nicely with Google Apps, which we use to run our business in the field. The workers love the Chromebooks because they aren’t afraid to use them on the job. If one does get damaged, we can swap it out for another one in a matter of minutes, with zero time wasted or data lost. Also, we’ve saved so much in moving forward with Chromebooks instead of Windows laptops - about $200 per machine.
Rolling out Chromebooks to our staff was extremely easy. We have two people and an intern in our IT support department, and I wanted the intern to manage the deployment process. I figured he’d only get so far, then my IT guys would have to jump in, but he did it all on his own. If I would have rolled out the same number of Windows laptops, I would have had to hire additional staff just to manage that. And with Chromebooks, we haven’t been plagued with ongoing support requests.
The scale of the light rail project really brings to light how valuable the Chromebooks have become to our organization. At Egan, we take pride in the fact that we’re building something that so many Minnesotans will use. The light rail will bring people together that didn’t have an easy way to connect previously. I like to think Chromebooks have done the same for Egan.