Before I embarked on the treacherous school run this morning, I received an email from the local village school to tell me that it was closed. Thankfully, to send the email, the school administrator didn’t need to drive on the icy roads to get to her school PC. She relied on the cloud to send the email to the parent distribution list. In this case she logged into the Yahoo mail system from her home pc or mobile device- the originate from the cloud. All she needed was a web browser. Arguably, before the advent of the cloud we wouldn’t have received that email.
In a nutshell then, the cloud enables you to access your data and applications from the end of any internet connection. The application and data sits in the Cloud.
I’m off to a conference in San Francisco tomorrow safe in the knowledge that I can access everything I usually do at the office either on my iPhone, iPad or Mac/PC. In fact, I could even resort to accessing my cloud on someone else’s device if I couldn’t get to mine.
Cloud computing is a great enabler and that’s why entrepreneurs need to take advantage of it. Firstly, you don’t need to have huge processing power on a PC anymore. Just a reasonable internet connection and a modern internet browser. Secondly, people can work remotely – from home, the office, at a client’s premises or whilst commuting between clients. The barrier to entry for a startup business is significantly lower being able to access all the (often free) power in the cloud. Take Google Apps for example. I’ve planned many posts in the future to help you understand what you can do with the cloud so consider this a teaser.
Cloud computing is also referred to as Software as a Service or (SAAS) – no need to get befuddled by what you think are geekish acronyms. You will be using them in common place very soon. And if you cant get used to adopting these words and concepts, remember how you used to smirk when people suggested you Google them!
This is SalesForce’s most popular YouTube video worth watching
If I still haven’t demystified the cloud why not visit Cloud Computing in Plain English which is a very good introduction to the concept by Common Craft – an while you are on the Common Craft site – have a look at some of the other Plain English productions – they’re great.