How to Become Operating System Independent at Your Business 

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Many businesses rely on a certain operating system, whether it be Windows, Mac or a Linux distribution, in order to do all of their daily tasks. Oftentimes proprietary software is written by the business that can only operate on a given platform, and sometimes even only on a certain version of that platform.

This article will focus on steps a business can take in order to become operating system independent. This will allow a business to utilize any system their employees prefer and be able to adopt a BYOD policy much quicker.

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Universal Software

Universal software is the first step of becoming operating system independent. Many pieces of popular software written by Microsoft or Apple are designed to lock the user into a certain ecosystem. Being locked to a certain ecosystem isn’t necessarily a bad thing at the time, but as time progresses your business may want to switch. Several reasons for switching include adopting a BYOD policy, or the ecosystem begins to fall behind other rival systems.

Many pieces of software, particularly open source, can run identically on all major platforms and are 100% compatible between them. Bring your own device overview.

Utilize Custom Software that Works Everywhere

In the event that your business requires a custom piece of software to operate, it is best to create that software using a platform that will ensure compatibility and upgradability as time goes on.

Many pieces of proprietary business software are locked to a specific version of a specific operating system (such as Windows XP, service pack 2). This violates best practices as it does not allow for the system to be upgraded, and as such the business will in time miss out on security, speed and productivity updates for that system.

When you commission software to be made, ensure that you specify that you would like it to be written using universal languages that have the ability to run on all major platforms.

Use Universal File Formats

Utilizing common and universal file formats are key for ensuring data is transferrable across a network and different devices. Locking data into a proprietary file format that requires a piece of expensive software to run can severely limit productivity. Synchronize two computers: web browser and files.

Utilize Web Services When Possible

Web services (such as Google Apps for Work) operate within a web browser and do not require any sort of specific OS. They simply require an internet connection and a modern web browser. Utilize web services when possible for common but simple tasks such as calendar, email, file sharing, cloud storage, simple productivity work and much more.


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