My Dad is a smart guy… I am lucky to have him and my mom still around and very much part of my life. A few weeks ago he called and told me that it was time for me to get into the cloud. I asked him where he got this from… this was the same man who said he was hoping to get his computer “Interneted” one day. He went on to explain that the cloud was becoming very popular and, because I like computers so much, I should get into the cloud.
I remember from my childhood that one of his most commonly used phrases (for the record this was mostly used on my brother, in addition to, “Stop dinking around!”) was “Son, get your head out of the clouds and come join us in the real world!” This was one of those “Dad” sayings that was his way of asking us to focus on the task at hand. I have always liked that about my Dad – focusing and seeing a task through are qualities that he instilled in me at an early age. Fast forward 30 (+) years, and now my Dad is asking me to go into the cloud.
So, I told him I was already there. I had been there since 2000… but my full cloud dream had not been completely realized until the Christmas of 2009… or as I like to refer to it as “The iPad Christmas” (the previous phrase is best to be said with reverb and echo). Even though 50-60% of my stuff (business, software, contacts…) has been in the cloud since 2000, it was only until the advent and stabilization (the second word is more important that the first when it comes to using software) of Google Docs that was I able to move all of my documents from my compter to the cloud. Then with the “iPad Christmas” (reverb and echo) I was able to keep a laptop at home, another at work, and carry my iPad from meeting to meeting and between home and work without having to pack and un-pack my computer. That put me completely in the cloud. The only non-cloud aspect of my life ( I am working on this) is the little annoying slips of paper I need (called receipts) to do expense reports.
Oh yea, the basis of all good communication is a solid definition. What is the cloud? Well, there has been much argument and misunderstanding about the cloud. Recently, Microsoft has attempted to take the term and make it their own (Let’s go to the cloud). However, all the cloud is – is you accessing your software over the internet. It is basically someone else managing software somewhere else rather than on your computer. Sorry Bill Gates – didn’t mean to blow your cover!
Not having to manage hardware creates some great benefits. If my computer crashes (and it has), I have three over devices that can pick up where the dead one left off (no loss of data). Also, I am able to work anywhere at anytime (I am struggling with this one being a benefit). Lastly, and this is a big, although I am a software expert I am not a hardware expert. Being in the cloud allows me to not have to worry about computers, servers, downloads, configuration… all I need is a good connection to the internet and I am in business.
In the 8 Pitfalls I wrote a lot about what type of hardware and software would be best for a company based on goals and historical experiences. However, as the cloud becomes more widely used it is becoming clear that we will all eventually end up there.
Lastly… I want to thank my Dad for helping me focus as a kid, and I would also like to thank my Dad for finally joining me in the cloud! (Now we will work on my brother.)