“There was a time when every household, town, farm or village had its own water well. Today, shared public utilities give us access to clean water by simply turning on the tap; cloud computing works in a similar fashion. Just like water from the tap in your kitchen, cloud computing services can be turned on or off quickly as needed. Like at the water company, there is a team of dedicated professionals making sure the service provided is safe, secure and available on a 24/7 basis. When the tap isn’t on, not only are you saving water, but you aren’t paying for resources you don’t currently need.” Vivek Kundra (Federal CIO in US Government)
This is considered one of the simplest definitions of cloud computing and highlights the likely impact this growing technological development is likely to have on our lives.
At Strictly Organised we use cloud technology to solve a lot of organisational dilemmas for our clients. We help them to reduce their paperwork burden by 75%; enable them to access important documents from their smartphone; have synchronised calendars for the family; store all of their contacts centrally; use Skype to speak to family abroad for free; store their photos so they can share them and make wonderful photobooks rather than spending hours sticking photos in albums (or just keeping them in a big muddled box of photos which is more the norm!); store their passwords securely … and, most importantly, ensure that all of their data is backed up instantaneously without having to ‘remember’ to plug in an external hard drive!
And for our business clients ‘the cloud’ enables them to run the same back office systems that a large enterprise might use at the fraction of the cost. Their admin costs are minimised, they can use powerful customer databases without having to spend money on developing one, organise on-line surveys, use social marketing tools to reach new customers, keep track of their time, convert business cards to useable data etc etc.
Where in the future is this leading us? The opportunities are seemingly endless and some of the products we have been looking at focus on helping to keep people living in their homes for longer and minimise the need to spend money prematurely on care homes. They even include the ability to monitor our health and even receive regular check-ups from our GP via cloud technology without the need to know how to work a computer!
All exciting stuff which as usual comes with a sprinkle of caution. You need to really understand what you are trying to achieve and this is where good old fashioned paper and pen can help to map out the process. Then you can decide how securely the information needs to be handled and source a suitable product. Just downloading ‘apps’ that promise the earth in the hope they will ‘organise your life’ will only lead to a big technological muddle!
It really is the perfect time to start to embrace cloud technology as it is likely to have an enormous impact on our lives in the future. So if you still haven’t got that gadget you were given for Christmas out of the box now is the time! You might find a new way of doing something that saves hours of time and if still need help to ‘synchronise your life’ then give us a call.