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Living in the Cloud

Paul Fiumara from DFKANZ article - AFTA@Work Newsletter - Thursday 31st JulyDFK ANZ logo

Like the Gods from Olympus those of us in the “Cloud” sometimes look down and smile on the plight of the mortals scurrying aimlessly around the Earth. Of course when I speak of “The Cloud” it is not the Elysian Fields that I am referring to but some other near legendary place where the world’s technology experts are telling us that we will all be living some time soon.

As a long-standing proponent of “Cloud Computing” I had to practice what I preach and moved our computer network to a “hosted private network” when our existing hardware infrastructure came to the end of its life. We are happy with the move.

Most of us actually use Cloud computing in some capacity or another every day.

The most common form is “Software as a Service (SaaS), which you use when you search for a website using Google. Many other software companies are changing their model of selling software with some form of support/maintenance to “renting” their software to customers and providing it as a service on the Cloud. There are significant advantages.

Firstly, it moves the software and the hardware from being a “capital cost” to an “operating cost”. Therefore the need to maintain servers, pay IT technicians to keep this running is nearly eliminated. Secondly the cost of providing updates and support is significantly reduced.

Another form of cloud computing is Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) where your software and electronic data resides in some form of computer infrastructure within Data-centers away from your premises, and is delivered to you generally via the internet. An IaaS solution is generally offered in one of three ways:

  1. Hosted private network - where customers have their own private network on servers owned and maintained by the IaaS provider.

  2. Multitenant service - where software is stored and run on an IaaS provider’s servers and is ‘shared’ by customers.

  3. Hybrid solution - which is a combination of both.

There are cost differences and the right solution for you depends on your individual needs.

Cloud computing brings significant advantages to a business. For example, you have the ability to view and retrieve your data on a variety of devices in multiple locations easily.

Another advantage of Cloud is the ability to quickly and easily upscale or even downscale as the need arises. This alone can result in significant cost and time savings to a small or medium sized business.

Security and safety of your data is often cited as a disadvantage of being in the cloud. The moment any organization decides to make their computer network available to anyone outside the physical boundaries of their office or workspace then security is the same whether your information is located in your office, your home or in a data-center.

As the Cloud market continues to mature and expand, business owners will recognise the benefits and cost efficiencies that will ultimately make it uneconomical to own and maintain their own internal computer network.

Paul Fiumara HeadshotPaul Fiumara

Paul is a regular speaker on information technology at national and international conferences and is the DFKANZ spokesperson on IT related matters. To have a constructive conversation about your business accounting and IT matters please contact us at 1300 DFK ANZ.