The IT industry has been trying to get the concept of “the cloud” into the public consciousness for sometime now. Hosted Applications, Software as a Service (SaaS), Application as a Service (AaaS), Interactive Websites, Data Driven Web, Web 2.0, ad hoc, ad infinitium.
Finally, and somewhat thanks to Apple (much like video calling, pfff, meh, what’s the point. Facetime, oh yes please!) and their iCloud, but that just projected the concept further than before.
So to start with “What”. Most will have some idea, but many just know the buzzword. Largely, it’s all that you need to know but to add a little more colour it’s information, be that emails, contacts, documents, photo’s and anything else stored on someone else’s servers and accessible via the internet.This differs from the traditional method of storing everything on your PC, Laptop and / or your external hard drive, a few USB drives and whatever else happens to be lying around. The same for software, while you can download and install software, which in some cases is still the best option, cloud based applications mean that you can access the same information from any location, and use the same software from any location, any device at any time – as long as you have an internet connection of course!
So “Why” should you do this? Really it’s a case of specialisation. You do your job, and no doubt do it very well. Why waste time, energy and money on what is principally not your core business? Let someone else deal with the servers, the backups, the data centres, the redundant hardware, the patching, the anti virus, the upgrades and everything else that comes along with servers. Office 365 or GMail for Business is a great case. Why download your emails to each device, some marked as read, some not, some deleted, some not… Then find when you upgrade you suddenly lose a load of emails and contact details, when you can just store it all on Mircosoft or Google servers, in their secure data centres for relatively little outlay.
Much like you generally get an accountant to complete your annual accounts, you can get someone else to run mission critical IT services and for yourself not to worry about the details.
The more you can do this, the more you can get on with your business, growing it and making it better!
Our offering in this space is Curato (www.curato.co) which focuses on the Care Providers requirement to recording and report upon all their information. This means the care providers can get on with delivering care, and expanding their service without the worry and headaches of trying to record and track the vast amount of information generated daily.
The bottom line, in my opinion, is to get as many of your IT systems into “the Cloud” as possible. This way so many of the IT headaches become someone else’s problem.