Move out of the Fog and into the Cloud

Date: 23rd January 2011

Remember in 1984 when the Dire Straits song Money for Nothing came out we thought the music video was just outrageously amazing – stuff we had never seen before. The guitar riff of course is memorable and the lyrics are still some-what offensive today as they included a double banger use of the ‘F’ word…no not that ‘F’ word…the other one…yeah you got it.


My point? Things that are new and weird, in time, often turn out to be the norm. The most recent example is internet banking…bye bye cheque book…(audible sigh of relief)

Now you might have heard these Cloudy terms bandied about, or you might not have? They are a fancy pants way of saying lets use online tools to make life easier and safer. Here I’ll break it down for ya!

SaaS
SaaS or Software as a service. The means that programs exist in a web based format. So instead of purchasing an application and installing, updating and maintaining yourself, the program is taken online. A monthly or yearly subscription allows you access to use the technology accessed via the internet.

So this means you do not have to install anything and that you can access it from anywhere. It’s cool also cause you pay for what you use with no pesky updates, back up or security issues – that’s what you pay for.

One of our fave tools is ipayroll. Its the easy peasy way to pay our staff, keeps the records, take care of PAYE and Kiwisaver and create pay slips that our employees can sign on in and grab themselves. Love it!

Web 2.0
A phrase coined by Tim O’Reilly; this term primarily relates to tools that promote interactive collaboration. Best examples are Googles apps, Wikipedia, YouTube and social networking sites. So you are probably already in the game without even realising it right? I kinda see it as a all hands on deck kinda situation and as Tims says “the more people that use it, the better it becomes”. So one of our useful tools is this wee blog. We use a Google Blogging platform called Blogger, its easy, everyone can have input, guests can make a comment and we can tweet our posts on Twitter. Nice…

The Cloud
The idea of cloud computing encompasses these aforementioned tools and refers to the use of remotely accessible systems, information and programs accessible via the internet. The internet can be used for data storage space and data centres.
Our friends at Xero are in the Cloud, their online system ticks all these boxes as it is interactive, accessible and functional. Lovely!

What does all this mean to you?
It means you can be efficient and that information and systems are accessible. Taking your business into the Cloud (where appropriate) can mean that your business is nimble. You can streamline your systems and get back to doing what you do best. In a nutshell, it clears away the fog of day-to-day intricacies and opens your mind to possibilities in your own field of expertise.

In the words of Mark Knopfler you’ll get you “money for nothing, and your chicks for free”.




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