Sharing of hardware & software resources has become most common in companies to improve the work productivity. It takes lot of time and effort for the employees to switch from one system to another to get the data or take a print or even access any software or file. Resource sharing allows users to share the hardware (like printers, fax machines & modem), software and common data with other people in the organization. Generally companies allow their employees to share the resources through LAN (local area network) or an enterprise intranet. It supports multi user environment, where users can access the hardware device or data in their local machines through a remote network. Now, businesses depend on it to share important information within the organization as well as with other business channels. Some of the benefits and drawbacks of resource sharing is discussed below.
- Improves Productivity
It is highly beneficial when more number of users need to share the same information or work on the same software or device. Especially, in large companies where there is a difficulty to produce multiple resources for each employee. There is no need to use a disk or USB to carry files from one system to another instead it allows multiple people to work on the same resource by simply accessing from their local computers. It is easy to load software on one server, make changes or upgrades only once instead of doing it on every individual work station. Sharing not only saves time & effort but also improves productivity due to increased flexibility of access to the resources.
- Fast and Easy Access
Implementing technology for sharing of resources allows employees to access updated information easily and immediately. There is no need for the employees to be physically present at the business location. Through intranet and web server access, they can share the work related files and work from anywhere in the world. This integrated and flexible sharing of information through common resources improves workplace collaboration and employee work efficiency.
- Cost Savings
Typically businesses invest lot of money on hardware components & peripherals, buying software products and also on storage devices to store their companies data. When users share resources, there is no need buy hardware or software for individual computers and the overall cost will go down substantially. Instead of buying numerous inexpensive products for each individual, businesses can divert the same amount to purchasing high-end solutions which can be shared through company’s network.
- Security difficulty
As different people from the entire organization access the data or resource, security is always a big concern. Illegal activities might happen and hackers may intrude into the network to capture the company’s information or sensitive files. Hence, people who are sharing the resources need to be aware of these facts and understand the consequences.
- Virus threats
When resources are shared, there is a higher possibility of spreading of viruses and malwares to multiple systems in the company’s network. Since multiple users work from different systems, it becomes difficult to trace from which computer the virus or malware has been spread. Regular checks should be done to make sure the systems are safe and if a threat is identified it is better to remove the file from the network.
- High maintenance
One of the biggest drawbacks of resource sharing is the burden of maintenance. In case of hardware, businesses need to buy the required equipment and also hire employees who can efficiently maintain them. The company not only has to invest money on the equipment but also has to bear the additional salaries for the maintenance staff.