Usually at the end of December I try to review the year that has gone by and anticipate the year that is approaching. There are usually several trends to watch, and this year the most notable thing that is billowing ahead is ‘the cloud’. The cloud is like an unstoppable steam train and your competitors are climbing aboard.

There is a lot that has been said and written, and there are quite a few detractors and vested interests such as local IT companies that see the cloud eating their lunch. I thought I would give you just one example.

We have a PC sitting in our office that acts like a server. We store backups, images, artwork, office bits and bobs such as proposals and client details. Every so often we need to reboot it, update the antivirus and hope that it does not go bang. And in the unfortunate event that it does decide to go bang, we are left with the only option of running for Mr Dell, Mr Microsoft and probably Mr Norton, line their pockets substantially and spend a good chunk of our potentially billable time hoping they would succeed in grabbing all our precious data before they disappear into the black hole.

Do I really have to go through all the trouble? Take a look at this invoice from our friends at Torix MSP.

We pay £14.66 per month and all our office stuff is on “jungle disk”. That would mean, as long as I can get onto the internet I can literally work from anywhere in the world. More importantly, Marcin who is out in Poland can also access the same stuff, as if he were sitting in the next bay. With all our data mounted on the cloud, we can in fact easily survive without an office.

Now contrast this £14.66 per month to the alternative “old” way. Buy a PC – several hundred quid! Spend time adding all that antivirus stuff and all that comes with it. And if I want to work from home or from Poland, add to it another bucket load of IT stuff! VPN this, open that port, firewall this ……….. Yawn……..boring…… get a life.

And, what after going through all the hassle – a hefty service bill and lost productive time!

Well, that was one simple example. As with most things new, it takes a bit to get your head around the cloud and it certainly takes a bit of effort and planning. But, once you are there, believe me, the advantages and cost savings are sure to woo you in!

We believe that now is the time to start using it. Get to learn it and work out how it can help your business.

Heck, if all you did was to get drop box and only use it to share photos with yer gran, well that would be a good start!

Methinks it is time to mangle a bit of JFK.

“Ask not what your PC can do for you, ask what the cloud can do for your business”

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