Imagine being able to access your business systems from anywhere, at any time, not having to run your own server, worry about backup, or have a plan for when the server dies.
That's the promise of one of the biggest trends in IT right now, a buzz word called "Cloud Computing". Cloud computing promises to save companies a lot of money and hassle, but it seems that nobody can agree on exactly what it means.
While Cloud Computing has some specific technical meanings, we reckon that from your point of view as a business manager it pretty much means "having your stuff accessible over the internet", right?
And taking it one step further, it means not having to run your own server. When it's done right those 2 points alone make for some pretty compelling advantages.
Probably the biggest concerns are that because you don't physically store your own data it feels like you're giving up control what happens if the internet is down? What happens if the hosting service closes or disaster strikes?
These are valid concerns and can easily be addressed make sure you have access to frequent backups and can extract your data at any time. Make sure the service is robust and well setup.
But at the end of the day most hosting services are probably safer than your own in-house server. As Xero CEO Rod Drury put it "How safe is that data on your laptop right now?"
Cloud Computing is not just for web applications we're building more and more FileMaker solutions that are being hosted in our data centre, and we're working on bringing the advantages of cloud computing to the FileMaker platform as well.
My bet is that within a few years most businesses won't have their own servers, and one more barrier to your global domination will fall.