Cloud computing clears data management risks

The 1970s are regarded as a turning point in modern science and technology with a number of innovations that have changed our lives.

Among them are micro-processor, desktop computer with floppy disks, Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), the word-processor, Post-It notes, video-tapes, tape recorders and video games.

Ethernet (LAN) that is still in use, ink-jet, laser printers and cell-phones (initially very large and heavy) also belong to this period.

I recall visiting a large telecom customer in UK prior to the advent of IT Cloud Solutions. He invited me to his computer server room, which was stacked with many floor-to ceiling gas cylinders, to suck out oxygen in the event of fire.

I naively mentioned this risk to his employees as there was a call centre next door.

Much to my dismay, he said that data was ‘more important!’

Decade of clouds

Fortunately, with cloud computing, we no longer have such risks.

Cloud technology has been around for over a decade under different guises (Thin Client; Virtualisation and Hosting, to name a few). We have been using these solutions since the late 1990s well before Cloud became the hype word.

Additionally, many IT suppliers have a business model through which they create a customer dependency on their services.

This may be ideal for their business, but unfair for customers.

When IT service providers talk about their agile and self-service approach for analytics, Emails, storage and website development, some companies inform them that they do not own source code for applications, content and design, and that updates require the services of their IT supplier.

DIY systems

The modern generation should be capable of maintaining their own websites using system tools with short-term training.

This can save costs as well.

If you spend $15,000 on your business server that will usually last for three years, some companies can offer cloud-based business mail and storage solutions with additional security features at the same cost, guaranteed to last 15 years.

Some misconceptions

There are some misconceptions among small and owner-operated businesses on matters relating to their computers and information systems.

I do not need IT updates: “I know my business. There is no need to update my IT as everything is in my head.” Such an approach will make you stop learning. When your technology is outdated, your business will become stagnant, giving your competitors additional advantage, as they continue to build their knowledge and improve their processes. With a multitude of free or inexpensive resources available, there is no reason for not updating your skills and using technology to your advantage.

I do not need a website: Every business, regardless of size, needs a web presence, at least to provide basic information about your company, its products, services and contacts. Websites have become a great source of information not only to residents but also to visitors and tourists from overseas.

Social media will not help my business: Social media is not for everyone but it is a way of building and strengthening your business supplier and customer community. Adding social media to your marketing plan is an excellent way to network and build unique relationships with people you would otherwise never meet. Start with a simple plan to participate and engage with the community.

My data will not be stored in New Zealand: In the wake of recent earthquakes in Wellington and Christchurch and other risks of natural disasters, businesses will be happier if their data is held overseas. Many New Zealanders will be surprised to know that they are already using and storing cloud data overseas through their mobile phones and tablets

Vishaal Madani is Director of Rapid Cloud based in Auckland. He can be contacted on (09) 5705854 or 027-5181418.

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