A while ago I published a blog post called “The Un-“Cloud”-ed Day”, [http://dustwood-media.com/jeri-office/general/the-un-cloud-ed-day/] basically expressing my skepticism towards the enthusiastic embracing of computing “in the cloud”. The risks of having your business’s vital information stored on someone else’s server (which is what cloud computing basically is) struck me as far outweighing the advantages.
I recently received a very pleasant email from Eric Carrell of a site called Cloudwards.net, pointing out an article on their site which discusses using the cloud and cloud terminology. Unfortunately, when I tried to respond to Eric’s email my response was refused by my mail server – apparently because Cloudwards is located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (Because of this I haven’t given the links in this article – although as far as I can see the site is legit and unharmful).
After reading Eric’s email and the article (which is very well-written and informative), I did a bit more thinking about computing “in the cloud”.
To begin with, I must reiterate my previous stand: for my market (very small businesses, usually with a staff of one or two people), the disadvantages of computing in the cloud outweigh the advantages. Especially for small businesses in small towns, the risks of losing access to your essential business data (even temporarily, through an interruption in your Internet service) are too great to make cloud computing worthwhile.
However, I have to admit that, for larger businesses – especially businesses with very large staffs and multiple locations – the advantages of cloud computing have considerably greater weight. I remain convinced that best practice involves keeping your essential business information in your own hands and at your own location, but I hereby concede that, for some businesses, using cloud-based services may be the more practical option.