Moving past responsive into a true mobile first approach for new and small businesses.

2014 was the year to get your website responsive and now that everyone is there, the focus moved. In the following post I will be telling you a story, prove a couple of things and let you in on something new. But first, if you haven’t heard about responsive design and how important it is, read this:

Full Steam Ahead - Mobile First

You can never be too sure.

Having lost valuable data in the past are the reason that keeping my data safe always takes priority. Some time back I set up a raid, a hardware system that uses multiple hard drives to speed up and store data in a safe way. If a drive crash, you replace with a blank and your data are rebuilt. Different raid configurations gives you more speed or more safety or both, this setup is known as a RAID 0+1. To do a RAID 10 you need a minimum of 4 hard drives, this way is so reliable that you can lose 2 of the disks at the same time and simply replace drives and carry on working with no loss.

What happened next is just short of unbelievable. A couple of months back, one of my raid disks starts erroring out, and eventually crashed. No problem Replace and rebuild and back to normal. In a week of replacing the first hard drive, another 2 drives goes two days apart. The one being a goner and the other still usable ,with some TLC. Ok go buy another drive, easy right… No not that simple, this is where some blind guy with a whip falls out of the sky.

The plan: once one drive recovers to the new disk I back-up and cleanup the second corrupted disk and rebuild that.

About 2 hours into rebuilding the new disk, the power dips. For those of you that doesn’t know, Eskom is a hot topic in South Africa at this time. Restart and find that the first disk from 2 weeks ago died, dead, not coming back. Now suddenly windows can’t start and the startup beep is about as far as I can come.

Turmoil! What to do now? Luckily I have another computer with windows 7, but a 32 bit install. Now my office becomes as busy as an army training camp, pull out the newest drive and clone the other windows, stick it into the crashed PC and recover windows. Startup.

To cut an ongoing story short, I am now in a spot where I will be able to recover most of the data. But hang on, not so quick, the recovery software is not cheap and the current Windows7, 32 bit are not able to use all the available resources, plus it needs activation in 3 days time. Leaving me in about the same situation.

Moral of this story? You can never be safe enough. If I fully embraced the mobile philosophy, I would not have had this story to tell.

Let’s prove a couple of things.

Keep in mind that at this time, as I’m writing this post, my computer is a makeshift (steel wire and pliers style) and I have no software installed and zero reference library. Luckily by running my business online, it only took a dodgy install of Windows and an internet connection, and here I am working full steam ahead.

Weighing up Google Drive: If you compare online concerns to dead parts, dead parts cost much more. Let me show you some figures and get you thinking.


The first stop in this shopping trip is with Google Drive. Google follows a different approach when compared to the second option, Microsoft Office 365. Both companies put effort into providing user-friendly solutions.

Something considerably different between this two are the fact that with Google, you spend less on hardware and inherently gain mobility. Hard Drives are quite pricy and consider that you have to spend +- 20Gb on Os and software per user.

It’s simple, with Google your computer costs less and you need fewer resources, all reducing costs.

Microsoft Office 365

After shopping I jotted down the costs to see how they compare. In the comparison done below you will see that the storage on the hardware in office solution is more, I believe that you can easily compare 2Tb office to 1Tb on Google Drive. Generally most businesses I dealt with, hardly used more than 65% of their disk space. I will even go further and say that 90% of these drives where smaller than 500Gb.

Cost Summary


An office based configuration leaves you in a situation where you still have to remember to make backups (That’s not even included in the costing above.) A simple difference in the angle of attack on Google’s side puts Google in the better place. Google storage are sold as space and scales nicely, on the other side the pricing are based on users and scales fast. The more licenses you pay for, the quicker the price doubles.

Take note that the office install in my test did not break, that is another good way to spend even more, start replacing hard drives. The abbreviation RAID started off as “Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks” but given what drives cost, the name were altered to “Redundant Array of Independent Disks”.


So What’s new for 2015?

Why does some websites start out bland? No documentation in a digital format and no one willing to transfer the cupboard full of folders to digital folders, there is many reasons. On the contrary, starting out on a mobile solution is cheaper as proven above and ultimately easier to mold into any use you may have.

If you are in business for a long time, and use computers but you do not trust them enough due to experiences or you do not have the time to convert your operations to become mobile then you need to read on. As part of my service I offer mentoring that will help you embrace make the transition and eventually improve your daily work flow.

Putting Mobile first. In following weeks I will be adding a collection of applications to my product’s list. These applications will be designed to integrate with your business easily and automate various of your day-to-day processes.

A better option will be if you contact me and we tailor your solution to yield the best results. Click for easy contact or send me a ticket if you are a registered client from here.

Renier van den Berg
Working alone, providing digital services to businesses in different sectors, comes with an advantage. I get to see the similarities in businesses operating in different sectors and will gladly help you to implement the right digital strategies and applications to save money and generate more business leads.