cloudsCloud computing is the latest buzz word in the technology world, but like so many other words, your average person on the street has no clue what it means.

Essentially it is just a new name for an old concept.  If you’ve ever used an online email service such as Gmail, then you have experienced cloud computing.  The concept is anything you do with a computer online that is not stored locally on your actual computer.  When we also described doing off-site backups of your data, that would be another instance of you putting data into “the cloud.”

While more companies are moving to using this concept, and it’s a nice idea that you can access your data from anywhere, there are some potential drawbacks.

How secure is your data? – You are putting all of your data into the hands of a third party.  How certain are you of their security measures?  Do they have redundancy plans?  What if there is a fire in their data center?  All questions you should ask of anyone you are going to use o store your important data outside of your control.

What happens if they crash/go out of business? – It’s a great idea to put data where you can access it, but if it’s your only copy, what happens if the company crashes or goes out of business?

Your Internet goes out, what now?Google Documents is great for working on documents or spreadsheets, but what if your Internet goes down and you can’t access them?  If you’re facing a deadline, this could be disastrous.

These are all valid ideas to think about before embracing “the cloud”, and believe it or not, we like the cloud!  All of us here at StarterTech are on the move a lot, so having easy access to all of our files from anywhere is a great help, but we also make sure important stuff is in multiple places.

Just like with a home computer, you need to practice safe computing.

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  1. What is cloud computing? « Dewey Wright Itoff and Howe LLP

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