Time to move into the Cloud?

When setting up LSWC I was torn between the offline, in-house I.T. approach and the online Cloud SaaS (Software as a Service) approach. There’s always been a bit of me that’s not felt comfortable putting all my data out there on the web and I think it stems from growing up in a world that didn’t live it’s life online. Now, I’m not saying im old 🙂 I just think anyone born before the nineties was lucky in that they were able to experience an analogue world where assets where primarily tangible.

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Cloud software has been the dream for many an I.T. person since the dawn of time, well PC’s at least and I really think we’re pretty much on the cusp of saying good-bye to nearly all of the ‘physical’ bits of software we keep on our machines. For example, I recently bought a google chrome book, I’m a die-hard PC user and googler and even though chrome books barely offer any kind of support for installing your own software I’ve become so immersed in the google franchise that I’ve reached the tipping point whereby my life would probably become harder if I tried to keep to the old windows infrastructure.

Pros of the Chromebook

      – speed of boot (low seconds)
      – no backup of data to worry about
      – always updated automatically
      – malware / virus no longer an issue
      – battery life (8.5 hours!)

Cons of the Chromebook

      – can’t install programs like photoshop etc
      – complex office documents can be tricky
      – all your shizzle is online

We’ll come on to that last point in a minute but all in all, for my type of laptop use the chromebook has changed my thinking and dare I say it made my life easier. Right now you still need a desktop machine if you’re doing intensive photoshop work or are a serious gamer but for a machine you take to meetings, use in the evenings when media-stacking on the sofa – there’s nothing better.

So what about having all your data online? It’s a bit scary if you’re anything over 20 years old but the reality is that’s the way we’re going. We all want less to worry about and we want all our digital assets always on, all the time. Bottom line? we have no choice – there will be security issues and there will be data loss but if you weighed those potential losses up with the possibility of the same thing happening to a machine within your organisation or home i’d say right now that cloud would come off better off and not only that, it will improve as time passes.

The other point to mention is costs, with SaaS you have no large upfront fees but you pay as you go and over the lifespan of a business this could add up but look at what you’re saving, no I.T. infrastructure other than a terminal with a browser on. Provided the cloud offering gives you what you need then the only real risk that your SaaS provider goes out of business but in most cases the provider will offer a form of download to you which allows you to back up or migrate away – make sure you chose one who offers this service and make sure you build it in to your business.

So, just for the record for the time being i’ve decided and am working nearly entirely ‘in the cloud’, I’ve tried many platforms and feel i’ve hit the sweet-spot with regard to cost-cutting, efficiency making, data security and disaster recovery. If you’d like me to help and advise you as we move to a cloud-only model, please give me a shout! on Bournemouth 01202 979902.