The cloud is an endearing term for a technological philosophy that has redefined personal computing. Where it was once popular belief that we'd be running supercomputers in our home that far exceed the computing capacity of giant data centers - and this likely will happen anyway - the future right now appears to be heading to the cloud.
While some analysts might consider the push for cloud computing as a trend in the consumer world, it’s clear that the advantages off-site hosting brings to the commercial world far outweigh the cons. With this in mind, it’s clear that the cloud is here to stay.
The cloud is the ultimate multi-platform data storage and management device. You don't have to worry about an OS X, Linux, or Windows version of the cloud. It typically works across all client platforms and is often even integrated on mobile devices. You can access the same data and basic feature set from an iPhone as you could on a Windows machine. This is a good thing, because it makes it easier to try new platforms without suffering the potential loss of compatibility.
Never before has Linux been more poised for consumer and business IT use than it is today. This makes it an excellent choice for companies wishing to extend the life of their aging hardware without sacrificing productivity.
Any platform with a browser can create documents on Google Docs, manage photos on Flickr, or send email on Gmail. You can even log in to virtual machines hosted in data centers halfway across the country with very little latency.
Even your company’s CRM can be hosted entirely independent of your local hardware and accessed from a variety of systems.
If your company uses QuickBooks to maintain financial records, it’s true potential can be unlocked by bringing it to the cloud and linking it to leading commercial solutions like SalesForce. In fact, doing this can extend the life of QuickBooks for a growing business and allow you to avoid spending tens of thousands of dollars on a more comprehensive off-the-shelf solution.
Now you’re no longer bound by workstations and the confines of a desk or cubicle. You - and your staff - can be productive in a multitude of areas, as well as while on the road. Being able to give your staff the flexibility they need to maintain critical work-life balance without sacrificing productivity can do wonders to enhance company loyalty and improve attendance.
Your company’s assets are also better secured with off-site backup and non-physical access. A fire or unexpected intrusion into your office shouldn’t put your data at risk. When everything is kept in a secured facility far away, these things are easier to manage and lock down.
Your IT staff’s time will be better spent, as well. Imagine all the effort which has been poured in to maintaining local storage servers and application hosting systems instead being focused towards innovating internal processes and keeping workstations in working order. The savings your company could have on staffing alone could make the transition worthwhile. Not mention, it’s a great deal for your IT department as it allows them to take a day off once in awhile without having to chain themselves to their laptop.
The cloud is perhaps the best thing to happen to productive technology in the past decade. It allows you to free yourself from the confines and dangers of local storage and enjoy reliable access from anywhere in the world.