Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Embrace the Cloud

Embrace the Cloud, you can thank us later.
Technology can be confusing and scary.  I spend much of my time explaining new technology to people and trying to ease their concerns.  Nothing causes more confusion than “cloud computing.”  This week, I want to explain what cloud computing is and how E3 systems can help you use it to improve your business. 

Slate.com economics writer, Matt Yglesias unveiled a survey from Wakefield Research last week about public perceptions about cloud computing.  Some of the more interesting tidbits of information were, a majority of Millennials believe that stormyweather can interfere with cloud computing and 22% surveyed  confessed to admitting they have pretended toknow what the cloud is or how it works even if they didn’t.  After a good chuckle, I wondered if people had similar feelings regarding microwave ovens or color television. 
Here is the dirty little secret about cloud computing.  Most of us are using it and we don’t even realize it.  If you are using Facebook you are using cloud computing.  If you are using an iPod you are probably using cloud computing.  In fact, any time you are saving documents or files someplace other than your computer at home or work you are using the cloud.

The cloud is nothing more than a metaphor dreamed up by networking professionals and marketing folks.  It represents computing with storage outside your local computer or network.  The data resides in the “internet cloud” on a remote server or database.  This is a positive development because this is a direct result of the explosion of personal computing and the web during the 1990’s.
Today on Gmail, a typical user can have up to Ten Gigabytes of data, which is a large amount of data.  So big that if a single e-mail was two kilobytes in size that would mean that you could hold over 5-million e-mails in your mailbox without having to worry about it filling up.    What makes this figure more fantastic is that the amount of space Google is providing each user is increasing by about 128 Megabytes a year.  In addition to those 5-Million e-mails a user can archive an additional 64,000 e-mails a year. 

Thanks to cloud computing we are dealing with big piles of data and they are stored on remote servers throughout the internet.  The raw power is staggering. 
So what does this mean to you the small business person?  It means that you can have the power and capacity of a large business with an IT budget of millions of dollars for a fraction of the price.  You do not need to spend thousands of dollars for servers and software.  All you need is a connection to the web and the power of the cloud is in the palm of your hand. 

At E3 systems we take a lot of pride in how we have used cloud computing and the internet to make it easy for a small business to manage their inventory.  With our Sully 2.0 system, you can keep track of Bills of Lading, Invoices, Packing Slips, Shipping Labels, and Purchase orders.  Contact us today and we will show you how easy it is to use. 
The “cloud” is nothing more than a fancy way of saying the “internet.”  Many of us are using it each day and do not realize it.  What makes it so fantastic is that as prices fall, storage increases and raw computing power improves it is going to make our lives easier and more connected.  As a business person you should not be afraid of the cloud but embrace it. 

Until next time.