MonkeyPuzzle Computers: Ilminster, Somerset

 Seeing Shapes in the Cloud

I think we’re all beginning to understand what the Cloud is (see below if not). And the term ‘Cloud’ is quite a good reference for what is and what it does. However, we still seem to being asked to buy into this Cloud rather than the benefits it will bring us. After all, the Cloud is just a different way of doing the same stuff we’re doing now.

After that slightly cryptic introduction, let me explain what I mean. I’ve always believed that IT support and new technologies should never be about the technology per se. It is always about what that technology can do for a business client – what benefits it will bring to their business. You start with a problem or a need and you provide for that with the most appropriate technology. Good IT should:

  • Solve a problem
  • Do more with less and/or make cost savings
  • Work more efficiently or productively in a certain area
  • Gain flexibility in working

And it’s not always about increasing profit for the company concerned – often it can be about freeing up time, particularly for the hard-pressed small business owner. Accessing information while on the move would be one such example.

Which brings us to the Cloud.

Cloud computing is essentially about providing IT services via the internet rather than from hardware located at your premises.

There that was succinct.

To take an example, traditionally you may have had a central server computer sitting in your office which managed your emails and where you stored files. With Cloud Computing, that server becomes rented space in a really big datacentre, but does exactly the same job. As long as you can access the internet you continue to get your emails and access files as before.

Obviously that’s a somewhat simplified example, but it’s one we can all understand. Even more simply, online email like Gmail and Hotmail are Cloud applications and we’ve been using them for years.

Now there are pros and cons to this method of running your business IT. Briefly, your data is secure and backed up to multiple locations; you can access it anywhere you have an internet connection exactly as if you were in the office; and the monthly payment aids cashflow – no large capital expenditure. However, if you have no internet connection you could easily stop working altogether and people have concerns regarding the storage of their data offsite and complying with the Data Protection Act if it’s not stored in the UK.

And this brings us to the point of this article: you don’t purchase the Cloud. You are buying a different way of doing what you do now and there are benefits and dis-benefits to that which need to be considered. It comes down to your business, what you want to achieve, and whether doing that via the Cloud brings greater benefits.

Don’t buy new technology for the sake of it, but embrace it where it represents an improvement.

Added By: Phil Wright on 25th May 2010 - 12:14
Last Updated: 25th May 2010 - 12:49

Number of Views: 3512
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