Microsoft, Google, Amazon, and many others offer an amazing, and often confusing, array of ‘cloud’ solutions. Microsoft has Office 365 and Azure. Google has Cloud Computing and Cloud Services. Amazon has its Web Services and Cloud Platform.
What does the cloud offer
- A central location to store documents, manage a common calendar, and process email; enabling you and your team to obtain current information from wherever there is an internet connection.
- You no longer have to worry about ensuring that every computer has the latest files.
- The ability to easily share information and work-in-process with partners and customers; allowing them to make corrections/comments as needed.
- You no longer need to trace through email threads to find out what was sent to the customer.
- Allows you to select only the tools and applications that you need; ensuring that you always have the most up-to-date version, where you only pay for what you use.
- You pick and choose what you need, knowing that it is current.
What the cloud does not do
- Manage your security and passwords. One of the biggest fears is that someone will hack into your online data. To minimize this risk:
- Require that everyone who has access to use ‘strong’ passwords.
- Always set up administrator passwords, and change them frequently
- Maintain local backups. Data loss is another major concern about using the cloud
- Even though the cloud provides backup, always make a local backup that is stored offsite.
- Have a disaster recovery plan.
- Be the solution to all your problems. The sales pitch for the cloud can be very compelling.
- Remember that the cloud is just a tool to help you run and do business; it should not get in the way.
If you need advice, have a comment or question, please do let me know. I would be delighted to assist.