I’m sure you’ve all seen the new Windows commercials, with the tagline “To the cloud, with Windows Live.” Now, these are mildly amusing commercials I guess, but just from the commercial, it’s hard to know what exactly “the cloud” or Windows Live is.
Unfortunately, that is not what this post is about.
While googling to try to figure this out, I got distracted when I came across the concept of “cloud computing.” I knew I had heard the term before, but wasn’t really sure what it is. It turns out that cloud computing is basically just an internet-based way to perform various computer functions without needing to purchase expensive computers and software.
Big corporations don’t usually need to worry too much about being able to afford the latest and greatest technology, but for small businesses and even non-profits, purchasing even a “basic” computer is a pretty big investment. With cloud computing, an organization can have all the big perks of the expensive software and high-tech equipment without all the costs!
Because data and files are stored online instead of an organization’s computers, they can potentially be accessed from anywhere. Many small business owners do a lot of work outside of normal working hours, and cloud computing would allow them to access all of their data from their home computer as well. Sounds cool!
The only potential concerns seem to be about privacy and security, although passwords and other security techniques may resolve those issues. But hey, I'm not the expert. Is privacy the only big concern related to cloud computing?