Cloud Computing: The Future or The End?
At the top of today’s buzzwords is “Cloud Computing”, a wonderfully descriptive term which means almost nothing because no one agrees on what it means (although I like Google’s attempt here). Lots of associated buzzwords, like IaaS, PaaS, virtualization, and “utility computing” help keep this a confusing issue for end users and IT providers alike, and recently I’ve noticed that computer repair companies tend to take one of two very polarized attitudes:
- Cloud Computing is no big deal, not ready for primetime, or doesn’t offer any benefits to their small business clients, or
- Cloud Computing is the end of the computer service business as we know it.
So which side is Computer Troubleshooters on? The same side we’ve always been on – our customers. We’ve partnered with a dozen of the best cloud solution providers which offer compelling advantages for our small business customers. And already hundreds of our small business clients count on us to help maintain and administer their cloud solutions.
There are certainly risks associated with cloud computing, but let’s look closely at the two biggest ones:
- Security – is cloud computing dangerous for your data? Maybe. Most (not all) cloud solution providers invest comparatively more in keeping their clients secure than most small businesses do in their traditional non-cloud solutions, so in many ways cloud solutions may be more secure than what you’re using today.
- Reliability -if the internet goes down you can’t access your cloud solution. For many solutions this is true – but if you’re savings thousands of dollars a year wouldn’t it make sense to spend $600 on a 2nd internet circuit for backup? Or if you have a prolonged outage you could always send your staff away to work from their home internet connections – which is not an option with most traditional non-cloud setups.
Now, I’m not saying that you don’t have to worry about Security and Reliability with Cloud Computing – every small business owner MUST take data security and safety seriously if they want to stay in business. My point is that each solution deserves to be fairly judged on all aspects, not immediately assumed to be weaker in some areas.
This summer we’re hosting a 1-day intensive training course in Cloud Computing for all Computer Troubleshooters, so they’ll be well prepared to continue doing what we’ve always done – help our small business clients make the most effective use of their technology, whether it’s traditional or cloud.