No, I’m not asking whether you’re ready to visit St Peter and his buddies, but whether you’re ready (or even considering) “The Cloud” in your business or your life?
What is “The Cloud”?
Put simply, it’s all about computers – The Cloud refers to any service or data that’s stored on the Internet – so that it’s not taking up space on your hard drive. Data on The Cloud is usually spread across a number of servers in different countries.
As a wedding and portrait photographer I need massive amounts of storage for images, and then I have to have back-up copies for contingency, so the idea of storing data on the Internet (where it’s accessible from any computer that you’re using) seems like a really good idea.
I decided to pose this question after seeing a news article on the BBC where a Spanish Bank (BBVA) has decided to use Google’s applications like email, calendar, docs, chat and video conferencing instead of hosting them on their own servers. One of the major issues regarding the take-up on Cloud computing is around security of the data, and it seems that the Banking regulators are happy with BBVA’s decision.
A lot of people already use Google’s tools, such as GMail, Google Docs and Calendar, so perhaps “big business” is just catching up with the rest of us?
So my question to you is – are your ready for it, and would you trust your data to “The Cloud”?
Personally, I’m not sure yet sure whether there are sufficient safeguards in place for anyone wanting to hold sensitive information such as personal or client data “out there in cyberspace. We have enough problems on our own small computers trying to avoid viruses, so what would happen if a hacker got into Google’s systems? I’d be happy to hold contingency copies of images from my clients’ weddings on The Cloud because it gives me another back-up of the files in the event of my hard drives crashing. But would I be comfortable with putting personal documents in cyber-space? I’m not convinced about that one!
Let me know your thoughts – perhaps you’re using Google’s applications already, or perhaps you’ve never even thought about it …. feel free to post a comment.
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