Do You Work In the Cloud?
Working in the cloud, or cloud computing, is when you are working with software programs that operates with shared resources, and can be accessed from one computer to the next without problem. One of the most common software options for working in the cloud is Google Docs, and Salesforce.
If you don’t use these programs, chances are in a few years you will be. A study conducted by Pew Research and Elon University has gone on record saying that, “71% of technology experts and stakeholders participating in the fourth Future of the Internet survey expect that by 2020 most people will access software applications online and share and access information through the use of remote server networks, rather than depending primarily on tools and information housed on their individual, personal computers. They say that cloud computing will become more dominant than the desktop in the next decade. In other words, they anticipate that most users will perform most computing and communicating activities through connections to servers operated by outside firms.”
Working in the cloud does have some advantages, one being its easy access across multiple computers. Because everything is stored “in the cloud” you don’t have to worry about remembering that jump drive, or CD. You can work and edit in the cloud at your office, and access the presentation at your client’s office.
Google Docs has been evolving since its inception in 2007. The best part about Google Docs is that it is a free service, and because it operates in the cloud, your documents can be accessed anywhere anytime.
Multiple people working on one document is much easier when it is in the cloud. Simon Mackie states in his blog that, “rather than emailing files to my colleagues and trying (and failing) to keep track of all the different versions, using a tool like Google Docs means I can have one document that everyone can access — it’s even possible to have more than one person editing that document at any one time, if I wish.”
Some people say that putting your “faith” into cloud computing is a lot like putting all of your eggs in one basket. Some of the respondents in the study felt that, “cloud dominance by a small number of large firms may constrict the internet’s openness and its capacity to inspire innovation – that people are giving up some degree of choice and control in exchange for streamlined simplicity.”
Putting your faith on something running on the Internet is also a touchy situation. If your Internet goes down during your presentation, you will not have access to it. This doesn’t happen often, but it does happen from time to time. If the presentation is very important, you should have a backup plan.
Even with these disadvantages it seems more companies are taking notice of the popularity of Google Doc’s—Microsoft in particular. Attached with Microsoft Office 2010 there is are cloud based applications for their desktop services. Microsoft named this addition Web Apps and it is a free service if you purchase Office 2010, or it can be used by itself for free.
Have you used cloud computing services? What do you think about working in the cloud? Let us know below.
Shannon Suetos is an expert writer on credit card processing based in San Diego, California. She writes extensively for an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs such as credit card processing companies at Resource Nation.