Byte Me Article 125 – Cloud computing not always best solution

Cloud Computing Not Always Best Solution

I have just finished attending the Festival of Innovation – a Thursday event hosted at the Rockhampton Leagues Club.  Several guest speakers including the ‘Gadgetguy’ and local business presenters extolling the virtues of our technological age and all things that connect to the Internet.  The advantage of these technologies to business was the main theme and there were several particular technologies talked about with the main focus being on cloud computing.  I took a back seat in the audience and listened to the suggestions being put forward.  This is when I got an uneasy feeling that this technology in particular was being pushed too hard by people with too much to gain from the use / sale of it.

Some of Australia’s largest Telco’s have been losing a huge revenue stream as their customers have been transitioning away from the existing copper network to wireless networks for both communication and data.  They are now scrambling to replace this revenue stream with hosted cloud services and I already see evidence of businesses being sold services that they either don’t need or can’t fully utilise because the infrastructure is not yet in place.  Who can guarantee right now that the NBN will continue to move ahead and if it does, then when will it be completed in Central Queensland?

I don’t like to see business owners being brain washed into thinking that if they are not using cloud services then they are getting left behind.  At Kerr Solutions we tend to take a more holistic approach and suggest that there is no one solution for everyone.  We have also implemented a cloud solution or in many cases a hybrid solution for many customers but its effectiveness hinges more on the ratio of internal to external users.

2013-05-18 Byte Me Article 125 - The Cloud

If you only have a few people in the office but heaps of external / travelling consultants/salespeople then a cloud solution is attractive.  If you have most of your computer needing employees in the one office then having your own server makes much more sense.  Between these two extremes we can also offer a hybrid setup that uses the best of both technologies.

When it comes to having company data, an accounting package and a point of sale system at your fingertips NOTHING beats the simplicity, speed & reliability of having your own ‘in-house’ server connected to your own ‘in-house’ workstations via a physical $1 per meter data cable.

There are also other factors to consider!

The rain depression at the start of this year took all of our communications and Internet access out for 1 to 3 days.  If your network was setup for cloud computing then your entire office was at a standstill.  Businesses with their own ‘in-house’ servers continued to trade – even if they didn’t have phones or Internet.

We do a lot of network management for companies with sensitive data that require high security and we are yet to see ANY well setup
local network get hacked and have information stolen.  In some of these setups there is no access to the data from outside of the premises – even if you were the owner.  However, if you put all of this sensitive information into a cloud environment along with data from hundreds or even thousands of other businesses then it is sitting in a cloud with a large bullseye painted on the side hoping that there will be no unauthorised access – even though this system has been designed to allow access to YOU from anywhere in the World.

We have all heard of recent data theft (sometimes on huge scales) from cloud servers that were ‘supposed’ to be totally safe but got hacked.  This is a news headline that we will continue to see – I can guarantee!  So don’t think that without cloud computing you are getting left behind – there are many businesses that would not benefit at all from its use, some which would benefit a little and some that should embrace it. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 07 49 222 400.

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