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Cloud Computing – Overcoming My Fear Factor

I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz lately about cloud computing. The buzz is growing, so I started to dig into it to see where this cloud thing is going. Seems that it’s not such a new concept as what I had thought. I actually was faced with a “cloud computing” choice a couple years ago, but I didn’t know it had a name.

I’ll explain. I run two businesses from home. The accounting software I used for 15 years has a couple of features I was not happy with and their programmers don’t seem to have an interest in upgrading in these areas. So, I started to look around at other software for accounting. One of the most well-known is QuickBooks Pro. When it came time to purchase, I was given the choice of buying the software OR simply leasing an online version. That would be cloud computing. At the time, I was afraid of it, and I opted to just purchase the software. Now, I think I would make a different choice.

Here’s why…First, I am realizing more than ever that no matter how afraid I might be of depending on the internet, there’s no way to get away from it. I simply must have internet connection or I can’t work. I pay for high-end business class internet at my house – with a truckload of bandwidth. I want quick service when there is a problem and I pay a premium price for it. That’s a given. So, if I have to depend on it anyway, why not just jump in and really rely on it?

Here’s what it would solve:

  1. When I travel, I wouldn’t have to pay for a GoToMyPC subscription to logon to my desktop computer in my home office to access my accounting program, (which I access a LOT) or anything else, for that matter. I always travel with my air card modem in case I can’t find Wi-Fi. So I almost always have internet access. I say “almost” because I was in the mountains on a camping trip recently where nothing would work – no Wi-Fi, no Verizon aircard, no cell signal – nada, zip! (I just decided to relax and enjoy myself anyway.)
  2. Sometimes, I am in my office so long during the day that I want to work somewhere else in the evenings…so I take my laptop to another room just for a change of scenery. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have to get up and run into the office to get something from my desktop computer – files, passcodes, emails…you name it. I’m beginning to realize that if I used cloud computing, this would all be eliminated, or at least most of it.
  3. The expense of software and hardware would be reduced. I haven’t run the numbers on this yet, but I think instead of buying some super-duper mega-terrabyte drive, I could just rely more on the “cloud.”

These are just a few of my thoughts about cloud computing. I’ll be watching and researching as the cloud grows ever-closer!

What are your thoughts?  Anyone already heavily into the “cloud?”