Computer repairs geeks are facing another Monday. And although it is gloomy and threatening of really bad weather, there is no reason why it cannot be a fantastic Monday. And all those Monday haters among you will just have to cope with my Pollyanna attitude today.
Geeks have been installing countless cloud computing systems as of late. Everyone, it seem, is seeing the benefits of cloud. Rather than installing costly software on your computer it is now the preferred option for may to just run applications in the cloud.
Personal computing has typically meant you got to go to Harvey Norman to buy a program and then install it on your computer. If you wanted to write a school assignment or a business report, you turned to a package such as Microsoft Office; working with photos meant getting one of the Adobe programs, and so on.
Just as Apple’s iTunes have revolutionised the way we buy music, videos and just about everything nowadays, the rise of software as a service (SaaS) means you can find online equivalents for almost any software your heart desires. Relying on nothing more than a web browser, you can work on Office documents, read your email, chat with friends, check your calendar, update your finances, edit photos, listen to music and do all your other day-to-day computing tasks.
Working and particularly storing in the cloud might sound scary but you have already been doing it for years and perhaps, not realising it. If you check your Gmail, Yahoo! or Hotmail email online rather than downloading it using desktop software such as Outlook Express. SaaS simply takes the webmail idea and applies it to all the applications on your computer.
What you see in the browser often looks and feels just like desktop software (not Gmail that one really needs to work on its interface), but behind the scenes,everything happens in data centres possibly somewhere in the Arctic rather than on your computer. The great thing about this is that you can keep working while on the road.
With SaaS (and no you do not need to remember this acronym. This one is for computer repairs geeks.) is that all your information is stored in ”the cloud” – those giant data centres – rather than stored on your computer. This makes it easy to switch between computers and other devices during the day. You also do not need to worry about the physical security of you data or the health of the servers it is stored on. That is completely out of yours and into very expert hands.
The impact of the cost of buying and upgrading software that can be very expensive gets reduced if you can subscribe by the month rather than pay in a lump sum every few years. This makes it much easier and more manageable for small business owners. Paying for cloud software per user, per month helps a small company to expand as its business grows rather than buy ‘for growth’ before getting the growth cash.
Cloud computing also allows small business owners to keep an eye on things while away for business or on a holiday (yes, that can happen for small business owners too. I am dreaming of mine somewhere where there is no mention of computers or computer repairs.).
Of course, just like with everything, working in the cloud is not without its risks. It is important to have a backup plan or quite literally, a backup. Please remember that Google Apps and Microsoft do not generally provide a backup service. That is something you need to ask the computer repairs geeks that sets your cloud about. Companies that offer backup are not expensive and their service can be worth their weight in gold for businesses.
If you are an early adopter and are ready to take on the cloud, try to keep one foot on the ground. Look for a service that gives you the ability to synchronise your cloud files to your computer, or a way to keep working in ”offline mode” if your internet access is off.
As always, try to leave your options open in case you need a change. Cheers from computer repairs universe and I am off to have a fantastic Monday.