Tag Archives: future

What Cloud Computing Can Mean for Small Businesses

Cloud storage will be a necessity within five to ten years for businesses and for individuals so we have invited a professional to talk a little about the future of cloud computing. Biz-it Pro has distinguished himself as an online backup reviewer for many years. He has graciously agreed to contribute to the SpiderOak blog and talk about what cloud computing can mean for small businesses.

Cloud computing is changing the way businesses utilize IT infrastructure. Enterprise organizations are deploying on a massive scale to integrate entire business processes to help them scale their business. However, even smaller businesses can benefit from what the cloud has to offer. Take a look at some of the ways a small business can streamline their operations with help from the cloud by SpiderOak.

How Cloud Computing Works

Instead of developing an in-house infrastructure, complete with expensive servers, physical copies of software and lots of fully equipped computers, cloud computing puts all the processing and hosting responsibility on a professional third-party company. Employees access their programs, email and data via thin clients, browser-like tools that remotely connect them to everything they need to do their jobs. There are numerous benefits to this configuration.

Flexibility and Mobility

Since cloud computing services store all the documents, programs and related data in a online, cloud computing system, your employees will have more flexibility and mobility than ever before. They’ll never be tied to a specific computer to work on a presentation or use a special program. This is excellent for traveling salesmen or executives that are often on the go.

Since programs are not stored locally, bug fixes and updates can be done seamlessly from the server side without causing any trouble for the user. This creates a stable, flexible platform that is also accessible via smartphones and laptops. This gives your users the ultimate level of flexibility.

Backup and Redundancy

Cloud systems also make it easy to backup existing data and provide disaster recovery . Easy-to-use systems like SpiderOak allow users to create and sync their local documents with a cloud version, which they can later access from any device. These systems even save revisions of documents so users can go back if they make a mistake and retrieve a previous version. Customer reviews of SpiderOak point out that this cloud data specialist manages to make this technically difficult process very easy for businesses of all sizes.


Many cloud providers have comprehensive small business data backups that regularly copy and protect your data. You’ll also benefit from on-site security, professional-grade cooling systems and a team of professionals who keep the hardware running smoothly.

Collaboration In The Cloud

Cloud systems also make it easy to collaborate on documents, presentations and projects. Since data is stored in the cloud, users can “check out” a file to work on it and then add it back to the collection for co-workers to view. Systems like email and chat are integrated into word processing and productivity tools for a very intuitive and flexible collaboration process.

Get Started Today

You might be surprised at just how easy it is to start using cloud computing tools provided by SpiderOak . Many small businesses discover they can switch to the cloud and even stay on their existing equipment! Instead of paying for an expensive server and technicians to maintain them, a small monthly fee can cover all the needs of your organization. Making changes and expanding is also intrinsically easy thanks to the cloud’s dynamic design. Find out today exactly what the cloud can do for your organization!

Living the CloudLife: Cloud Computing 101

Ever wonder just how far into the clouds you and your data are traveling? You are likely using multiple cloud-based services (including SpiderOak, we hope). Google offers software as a free online service to billions of users across the globe. The Internet giant hosts a set of online productivity tools and applications that live in the cloud such as email (Gmail), word processing (Google Docs), calendars (Google Calendar), photo sharing (Picassa), and website creation tools. And whereas you may not think of those services in ‘cloud’ terms, that is exactly what they are. So when someone asks you to define cloud computing, it may seem difficult at first to explain. Try asking that question to 5 of your friends and you’ll probably get five different answers.

There are many ideas of the ‘cloud’. Often wrapped in marketing lingo, definitions fly all over the net. And while they don’t clearly define cloud computing and what makes it different, they sure make it sound good. In essence, cloud computing means having every piece of data available via the Internet anytime you need it. Wikipedia defines it as “the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network (typically the Internet).”

Do you (or can you) remember when there wasn’t a cloud? Before the cloud emerged, there was software-as-a-service computing. Instead of data pipes and routers and servers, the cloud brings full fledged services. The underlying hardware and software of networking remains of course but there are now higher level service capabilities available to build applications.

Every day new start-ups present options for cloud computing. If we follow these trends, the computer merely becomes a gateway into the cloud – removing the need for onboard storage and freeing consumers to leap from one device to another depending on their requirements.

The days of downloading and installing memory-hogging applications on their device will be gone and replaced a powerful Internet browser capable of accessing and computing. However, we are not quite there yet as there are many drawbacks to this system still. The first is accessibility as we still don’t live in a fully connected world where the Internet is accessible everywhere. Further, there are critical security and privacy concerns and who ultimately has access to what data (an issue we worked hard to solve at SpiderOak with our ‘zero-knowledge’ privacy).

The idea of handing over critical data to a 3rd party company still worries many people – and with good reason. Ultimately, users adopt a hybrid approach where some data lives in the cloud and runs off of cloud applications while other more valuable data stays firmly on their machine.

As you are aware, we at SpiderOak are very passionate about privacy and security. In fact, the founders – Ethan and Alan – created SpiderOak to dis-spell the myth that just because data is online doesn’t mean that it cannot be completely private. We believe, as hope more and more companies will agree, it is in the users best interest to employ the most advanced techniques around protecting user data. This will only grow in importance as the cloud becomes more ubiquitous.

Another somewhat lesser known complaint about the ‘cloud’ relates to outages. In the ‘cloud’ world, we have come to expect that data should always be available. And when it is not we become very very impatient and frustrated. For example, imagine not being able to access email or an important business document. All companies suffer from outages as nothing can be perfect all the time (including us humans). Amazon, generally considered the gold standard, had devastating downtime last year that had millions of users suffering. Though no company can promise an outage-free service, there are methods in place to quickly restore service and make sure data is not lost.

Despite some of the drawbacks and a bit of hype, cloud computing remains a critical trend. Many of you have voiced your opinion on Facebook and Twitter on cloud computing. We would love for you to also sound off in the comments. How would you explain cloud computing to your mother? What do you think of cloud computing? What are some of your predictions for the next 5 to 10 years?

I’d love to look back at this blog post in 5 to 10 years to compare your thoughts!