What about the Cloud?
By Ryan Schave, MCP, Eclipse Consulting
One of the questions we get asked at Eclipse Consulting is whether “cloud computing” is a passing fad or is here to stay. The terms “the cloud” or “cloud computing” are bantered about like everyone knows what they mean and has embraced this new approach to computing. The fact is many of us are still asking, “What Is Cloud Computing,” even though we are probably already using it.
Rivka Tadjer, blogger for PC Mag sums it up by saying, “Whether you realize it or not, you’re probably already using cloud-based services. Pretty much everyone with a computer has been. Gmail and Google Docs are two prime examples; we just don’t think of those services in those terms.” (Source)
Another type of cloud computing that many of us use daily are the apps we have downloaded to our smartphones and other mobile devices, which is growing daily. Apple’s MobileMe and iWork.com show Apple’s focus on cloud computing. Google Apps has 25 million registered users with 6 to 7% paid subscribers. That’s 1.75 million paid cloud users. (Source) Microsoft is making a big push to develop cloud versions of its software; and, Microsoft is working diligently to offer platforms that allow developers to create applications “in the cloud.”
Given all this evidence, cloud computing seems here to stay. We thought that it may be useful to take a step back and look at the pros and cons of this newest approach to computing. As business owners look at cloud computing options, it’s important to know the benefits and risks.
So, although cloud computing does appear to be here to stay, like any IT solution, there are several things to consider before jumping in. Be wary of all the “in the cloud” hype, and make this decision like any other long-term information technology decision you would make – weigh the options, evaluate several choices, and implement carefully.
Ryan Schave is the co-owner of Eclipse Consulting, a technology firm that helps businesses become aware of and understand the technology that is available to accomplish their business goals, and helps them implement it. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2011 Eclipse Consulting, Inc.