Keep your head in the cloud

A line from Joni Mitchell’s song “Clouds” says, “I really don’t know clouds at all.” I have the same feeling about cloud-based computing.

Businesses are relying on this technology more and more. The principal is appealing. You can put all of your data “on the cloud” and it becomes available from anywhere. It becomes possible, with a handheld tablet computer and an internet connection, to design a project, spec it out, cost it, show it to the client, write and sign the contract, and even transfer a deposit directly into your bank account, all while sitting at the client’s dining table. It’s no wonder this is becoming so appealing.

But it’s not all sweetness and light. We need to be aware of what is going on behind the curtain. The “cloud” is a warehouse full of computers and the apps are not always free. For one thing, extra charges are levied for data transfer and this can add up quick. The apps often communicate with servers even when you are not actually using them and the charges are piling up without your even realizing it. Ads that you see on your device are what support the free app and those ads count as data transfer.

A friend got tripped up bad by one software vendor. He subscribed to an online payroll service. Everything was going fine until the service informed him that he was going to need a software upgrade. He figured he could get along just fine with his current version but one day he discovered that the was locked out of his cloud-based payroll data files. The software vendor told him that he would have to pay $800 for the upgrade in order for his account to be reactivated. So his payroll data was literally being held for ransom.

My message: Be aware of what is really happening and cover your back!

D.D.

COMMENTS

  1. Steve B wrote:

    Seems to me that the biggest misleading fad being pushed for the cloud right now is cloud-based backup and restore. Using the kind of internet connection speed most of us have, backing up or restoring a typical multi- gigabyte drive will take many hours! Having a backup is good, but the internet really isn’t ready for most of us to use it this way!

  2. Chuck R wrote:

    David, you can do all the things that you mentioned in this article without connecting to a cloud – you can connect to your own office computer or you could attach a hard drive to your router and connect directly to that from your mobile device.

  3. Howard Van Valzah wrote:

    The internet is full of scam operations and unfortunately every day businesses are being created to use scam techniques to get you hooked on losing money. They are all setup to entice your money and then disappear. They are criminal operations but there are no laws to stop it. I have been burned several times and I suspect I am involved with another one now with a local business which is now using internet techniques to fleece me, and they are succeeding unfoutunately.

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