The Cloud: Will it save your business?

The Cloud: Will it save your business?

It seems I can’t go 5 minutes on Google without seeing “The Cloud will solve everything!” It’s kind of annoying really. It reminds me of: “Y2K will destroy everything!” – remember how that turned out? For me it was spending New Year’s Eve at the office waiting for the end of the world. It was kind of a letdown when it didn’t happen.

This time I am happy to report the hype is different. The Cloud is a revolution, and it is changing the way people do business. Get on board or get left behind. It’s not a new concept. IT people have been saving data to remote storage for decades. Businesses were using remote mainframes for business calculations back in the 70’s. So why is this different? Because we are all becoming more and more connected. Smartphones, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are just a sample of cloud sites that connect us at lightning speed.

I have had many clients ask about the cloud; what is it? Where can I buy it? Is it fluffy? The answer varies on “it’s an offsite area where you can store and access your data from almost anywhere”. Imagine logging in to a secure site on the internet, and pulling down that sales presentation, that marketing video or a price sheet, all from your iPad or laptop.

The cloud as a data storage device allows you to be 99% mobile. We’ll still need printers, and a place to meet clients or perhaps you have a physical location for selling your wares. The cloud is a boon for those working out of their homes, or having a ‘virtual’ company. It is very constructive to have all of your documents in the palm of your hand, literally.

Can the cloud ‘save’ your business? It certainly depends on your situation. If your office burns down, than yes, it can. 60% of businesses fail after a major loss of date, chew on that. Don’t believe me? Don’t use any computers or the internet for 3 days; see how that works out for you. In more practical terms it can help you keep in touch with your company and clients, even from the golf course. For the medical profession, a HIPAA compliant cloud is a regulatory reality and they are legally bound to have an offsite, accessible storage area. So I’d have to say ‘yes’ the cloud can (and quite possibly will) save your business.



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