Latest computer technology has small business users in clouds
3 November, 2012
Pentium, IP Telephony, 64 Bit, Blu-Ray, Bluetooth, Gigabit & Wireless – these have all been major catch phrases that we have heard in computing circles. Now we have a new one – the cloud! So what is cloud computing and will it work in sunny Central Queensland? To try and demystify the term a little, if you have ever used Internet banking then you have already experienced cloud computing.
Basically cloud computing is using your computer, iPad or smart phone to connect to a server which has an address on the Internet to then ‘log on’ with a username and password to run a software program or store data. Internet banking qualifies for this as you are logging onto a banks’ server to check your accounts and or transfer monies. The same could be said for web based email accounts like Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo mail. So cloud computing has already been around for many years although it is now becoming more popular and accessible for small businesses and individuals.
Not only can we now rent “data space” on a server (which could physically be located on the other side of the world) but we can now also rent computing power to process a database or even run applications like Word and Excel (Office 365 is an example here). This is a newer trend and will certainly suit companies with multiple sites and very mobile employees needing access to all company data while travelling.
So the term ‘cloud computing’ has really only risen? in more recent times to help describe this concept. Lately it has become coined as a catch phrase as many terms have before it – encouraging CEO’s, company accountants and quite often the uninformed to use as a loose indicator of what they think is the latest and greatest in computing technologies.
Certainly once the National Broadband Network rollout is completed in Rockhampton this will also assist in making cloud computing more useable. This is because cloud computing obviously relies on Internet connection speeds to provide a worthwhile and fast experience for the end user – whereby they are not experiencing long delays between clicking on a command and seeing the result appear on their screens (also often termed latency).
One of the new worries in the industry is that all of these cloud computing companies are offering or suggesting that our data is safe and secure on their servers and is always getting backed up to multiple locations around the globe. I can only hope that they are all true to their word as the potential for a disaster exists if this is not the case. As a result we use a cloud type service for running all of our job scheduling and stock control software but still use QuickBooks on our own network for all of our financials.
Whatever option best suits your computing experience one thing is for sure – we are going to hear far more about cloud computing in the future. When you start to hear that a heap of businesses have put all of their data in the cloud don’t let it put you off using Qantas as true clouds still only consist of water vapor.
Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.
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