By PowerBuy // 7 March 2013 // Related Categories:

Cloud is an innovative way to deliver IT software and services without the files sitting on your PCs and servers. So long as a computer or tablet can connect to the Internet, it can access the Cloud.

More and more technologies are moving to the Cloud as web technologies advance and the cost of delivering hi-speed Internet drops. The latest big name brand to make the move is Microsoft. Microsoft’s Office 365 gives you the Microsoft Office products you’ve come to know and – maybe - love over the Internet. There are a lot of good things about Office 365 but we see three key limitations that are true of all Cloud technologies:

  1. Support can get complicated – When you use a Cloud product such as Office 365 you are usually dealing directly with the manufacturer or a niche specialist, which means if you run 4 different Cloud products then you have to deal with 4 different log-ins, 4 different server environments and 4 technical support teams. There is no one throat to choke so if something goes wrong then it is difficult to  point the finger at the responsible party. Therefore, Microsoft has decided to appoint Telstra as it’s provider of Office 365 for small & medium business. This means if any of our customers have a problem with Office 365 we usually have to help them get an answer from Telstra. It’s OK but it can get messy when a customer is running multiple Cloud products.
  2. You lose some control – When you move to Cloud you are no longer in control of the server or where your files reside. Whilst that may be a good thing (because you can leave it in the hands of experts) you may have questions about the security and sovereignty of your data. For Australian businesses Microsoft has informed us that the country where your Office files will sit is  South East Asia  although,  we don’t know much more than that.
  3. Cloud is only part of the software puzzle – As of today you can’t move everything to the Cloud. Most software is not yet ready for the Cloud and others will perform a lot better within your current network. So whilst you can move Office and maybe your accounting software to the Cloud right now, your practise management software, operating system and custom-applications might be better installed on your PCs and servers.

Our approach to Cloud is to treat it with caution. Some software and services work really well in the Cloud but others need to reside on PCs and servers for now. Some technology is best run in “Private Clouds” where you have full, exclusive usage of the Cloud server (it’s not shared with anyone else) while other technology can run on “Public Clouds” (shared with other businesses) so long as it’s hosted in a secure, Australian datacentre.

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