The credit card-sized single-board computer known as the Raspberry Pi has been claimed to be many things, thanks to its incredible versatility that enables it to be used for seemingly any and every kind of project. So with that in mind, could it also be a brilliant business aid?
The answer, it would seem, is “yes”. Here are just some of the ways in which a Raspberry Pi or several could prove an excellent business investment.
It makes a great small server
The potential suitability of the Raspberry Pi for use as a low-cost server to handle light internal or web traffic was mooted back when the first version was launched in 2012, and the device has since proved its worth in this regard in a number of ways.
Writing for ZDNet in 2014, Chris Clay Clay observed that the Raspberry Pi’s combination of extremely low power consumption, solid state storage, lack of noise and a small form factor helped to make it a fine basis for a small and lightweight server. He also cited the Pi’s considerable expansion capabilities, built-in HDMI capable graphics and sheer affordability.
How about as a business intelligence dashboard?
The importance of being able to gather the right business intelligence – in relation to such parameters as the performance of your staff and the behaviour of key computer systems – has never been greater.
However, such dashboards tend to have quite simple graphical frontends, so you don’t exactly need an entire PC to run them. This is where the Pi’s astounding cost-effectiveness also serves it well – simply place a number of them behind big screens and forget the need for a Windows PC.
There may be no better and more affordable development platform
This is a natural application of the Pi – after all, it was introduced in the first place as a means of getting schoolchildren and people in developing countries into programming.
The Pi sports ARM architecture that is highly efficient and low-powered, which makes it a great option if your business is among the many interested in developing products based on ARM IP.
You can’t develop an ARM product without the right development board. However, with the traditional ones from the likes of Qualcomm and Samsung a little on the expensive side for many firms, the Raspberry Pi – which could set you back as little as £11 if you go for the Zero v1.3 model from a reputable online store such as The Pi Hut – may represent a very attractive alternative.
A boon for digital signage
Another repeatedly mentioned potential application for the Raspberry Pi has been as digital signage. Again, a PC or a similarly expensive piece of equipment is way more than enough to run digital signage, so you may be interested in a more cost-effective substitute like the Pi.
You might have some pretty expensive traditional digital signage boxes that you would like to replace, or you might be creating digital signage for the very first time on your company’s premises. Either way, the Pi can be an easy-to-use and fuss-free solution.
There you have it – just some of the ways in which the unassuming Raspberry Pi could turn out to be invaluable for your business. How have you put this incredible little computer to work in your own company? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.