Back to the 1950's

I wrote about the return of 1950's computer networking in my blog post titled "Back to the 1950's." In that post I described a current phenomenon - Cloud Computing. If you haven't heard that term yet, you will! Most likely you already have some sort of "cloud computing" even if you don't call it that. Do you access your email online? Do you have customer management software that you access online? Both of these are examples of Computing in the Cloud, or Software As A Service (SAAS).

Although internet based programs and computing has been around for quite a while, neither have really "taken off" until recently. However, lower cost internet connections with higher bandwidth have made computing in the cloud much more practical and reliable even for smaller businesses to take advantage of. I believe another factor driving the cloud computing market is security. The risk of information stored on remote servers online is actually much less than the risk involved with locally stored data. Locally stored data is more liable to tampering, theft and even loss in the event of a local disaster.

Cloud computing offers so many choices that companies are guaranteed improved productivity and lowered cost by moving towards the cloud. Email and document sharing solutions on the entry level can be had for less than $5 per user per year, with no upfront equipment or software costs. As your needs increase and you move into more sophisticated software and programming, you still never have to pay for a software suite that will be old news in a year! As improvements and upgrades are available, your applications in the cloud are easily upgradeable, and often times with little or no additional cost. The other major factor in reduced cost from computing in the cloud is no more server maintenance! When is the last time your email server was down for repairs? When was the last time you were locked out of your customer management solution because of hardware issues? Have you ever lost the most recent version of a shared document? If any of these questions ring a bell, you are already looking to the clouds!

Another great aspect of Cloud Computing is the ease of scalability. Say your business is teetering on edge of an exploding market. You know that you may have to act quickly to support the rapid growth, but the IT time involved to make that happen is daunting. With cloud computing, you have unlimited infrastructure at your disposal and can scale up or down as your needs change. There is no need to hire additional IT staff or purchase new equipment.

Flexibility is also generously improved. If the only tool required for productivity is an internet connection and a computer, you can work from virtually anywhere! Remote offices can be deployed as quickly as an internet connection can be set up! Employees can work from home or on the road with no disconnect from company resources.

Any fear of cloud computing probably lies mostly in our preconceived thoughts that it is to expensive or not secure. We all trust our online banking - cloud computing is just as secure! The idea that cloud computing is expensive is the harder concern to alleviate, but the best plan of action is to get with your IT/Communications partner today and discuss how computing in the cloud can save you money, both by reduced IT overhead and increased productivity.


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 Jesse Spencer

Jesse Spencer has been a technology applications expert for over ten years with a background in business dynamics and project management. Recently he has been focusing in the area of telecommunications and IT services and is quickly becoming a well known voice in the industry. Click here to get more on Jesse!


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