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The Trouble with the Cloud for Businessmen

We should all agree by now that the cloud is one of the greatest technological developments ever over the last decade or so. Not only did it vastly improve the capabilities of mobile devices (who wouldn’t love the ability to be productive wherever and whenever they want?), but it also led to a social and professional landscape that encourages people to be more involved in the technology they use. You don’t need to be a hardcore techie to appreciate the cloud, as it’s extremely easy to use and provides more convenience than we ever thought possible.

Nevertheless, its popularity hasn’t quite translated to extensive use in the business world. Apparently, there are some people who are still having trouble with the idea of adopting the cloud – at least, on a large scale. They may have good reasons for their misgivings, though, considering…

The cloud can be difficult to understand, despite being easy to use

Picture this: you have a fairly limited budget dedicated to the operations and infrastructure of your business and you need to find a more affordable, better system for the organization. The cloud sounds like a great idea – but there are still so many questions about it that are difficult to answer, which is why your fairly traditional boss is striking it down as an option. No matter how exciting and efficient a cloud-based business service like RingCentral or CrashPlan is, their basic complexity gets in the way.

It all boils down to uncertainty with the unfamiliar. We may all like the cloud on a consumer-based scale – there’s a reason why cloud-based storage programs like SugarSync have a huge following – and not mind if we don’t know how, exactly, it works; but it’s different when you’re applying it to a business. Preliminary Internet research shows contradicting opinions on the matter of cost (the cloud is cheap; it can cost you a lot of time and money), security (the cloud is not secure; it has great security measures), and overall capabilities (the possibilities are endless; there are limits). That can’t be encouraging.

Some promises the cloud made are “broken”

According to Eric Savitz on Forbes, we haven’t changed the way we work, which has rendered an initial promise of the cloud – the eradication of paperwork – moot. There are people who are still uncomfortable with real-time collaboration, which in turn retains our need for documentation and contracts in triplicate. There are, of course, some advances and developments in cloud technology that try to work with this; on the whole, however, the cloud still hasn’t made paperwork unnecessary. Unfortunately, there are many who use this “broken promise” as an excuse to NOT use the cloud.

Other “broken promises” include costs. There are many businesses that were “burned” by the cloud when they became early adopters, excited to leverage a very cost-effective system, but eventually forced to spend more than they thought. Of course, the fault here lies almost entirely on the service providers who didn’t give them appropriate tech support for it; but horror stories like this still deter would-be enterprise users.

That being said…

There is no doubt that the cloud will prove itself more valuable than detrimental to businesses all over the world. All we need to do is to recognize that adopting this technology – as is true for many other technologies – require considerable insight to and support for the complexities of cloud tech use.

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