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5 Points To Consider Before Jumping Into The Cloud

Cloud computing for businessYou’ll have no doubt heard about ‘Cloud Computing’: having your data and applications at the other end of ‘the cloud’, available over the internet.  It should also cost you less than using your own servers and employing an IT team.  Sounds too good to be true?  Correct.  Consider the following five tips before launching your business into ‘the cloud’:

1. Are you happy to have no control over the software your business is using?

With ‘cloud computing’, so claim its proponents, you don’t have to worry about your software.  No more software installations, no more upgrades.  But you won’t have any control over the software either.  The application provider will just change it whenever they feel like it.  And, what if the new version of the software is not only harder to use, but also buggy?  The option of going back to the previous version won’t be there.

2. Are you prepared for downtimes and delays?

Even without sending  data through the ‘cloud’ your PC gets sluggish at times.  Why would you want to make it any slower?  Any system used over a remote wire is exposed to network downtimes and delays.  It is also impacted by the availability and performance of the remote server.  Ever lost patience waiting for your browser to display the next screen?

3. Are you comfortable with your company and personal data being kept by someone else?

Stories about data loss and the inability to pull data back when you want to change your system are increasingly common.  The question as to who actually owns the data has also not been resolved.

4. Are you ready to go back to the technology of 1970s?

What the proponents of ‘the cloud’ don’t tell you is that the whole concept means going back to the old mainframe days – a large centralised machine at the centre with dumb terminals connected to it.  How will you know whether your data is properly backed up and whether the central computer is supported by a proper disaster recovery system?  One day you may find that the system is just gone and there will be nothing you will be able to do about it.

5. Are you comfortable to operate an mediocre business?

One thing you won’t be able to do with a ‘cloud’ system is to have it modified to suit your business.  So, unless you operate a very average business, ‘the cloud’ solution will strip you of competitive advantage.  A good business always has some unusual elements that make it successful.  Are you prepared to forgo this and use what everyone else uses?

Andrew Gorecki is Managing Director at Retail Directions, www.retaildirections.com

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Andrew Gorecki

Andrew Gorecki

Andrew Gorecki is the Managing Director of Retail Directions, a Melbourne-based retail technology company specialising in Merchandise Management and POS software, and strategic consulting.

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