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Being in the Cloud.. You can take it with you!

This post is really musings… ramblings… please bear with me on this, it might make sense in the end.

Just the other day I had a wonderful conversation with a new client who left the workforce after her kids were born, just during the cusp of mainframe transitioning to the client server model (she’s a fellow techie. YAHOO, another female techie!!). Now, her kids have grown up (the youngest heading to college) and she looks across the IT vast land and sees something very similar to what she left.

The reality is, the cloud technology embraces both the mainframe model (centralization) and the client server model (de-centralization). It reminds me of the harmony between the muscular energy and organic energy in yoga. The balance between them makes a pose feel wonderful! Just like I’ve fallen in love with yoga, I’m falling back in love with technology. In particular, databases. So much more than Access or FileMaker Pro. It’s just wonderful!

So, as she and I were discussing the topic, an analogy came to me as we discussed the multi-tenant model of Salesforce.com (she was quite concerned about her data being mixed up with others AND security, remember, she comes from a very centralized place) So, I had her visualize an empty condo. The rooms are all laid out: outlets, cable hook up, washer and dryer hook ups, water, etc. The layout is all there for you. Now, all you need to do is add your furniture (data) and maybe a little design (paint on the walls, rearrange things slightly), but the basic floor plans remains. The condo association maintains the building, all you do is live in your space and call when there are problems (help desk or forums). You have your own secure space with a key and lock (password and encryption). You’re able to rearrange as you want and you can even change some fundamentals if you get condo association approval (adding your own code to customize and build out Salesforce). Then, when you want to move, you pack up your furniture (keep in mind, the paint stays on the wall, it’s temporary anyway, as does any build out) and you find a new condo (like moving from Salesforce.com to another cloud based or maybe internal database). It’s like that with Salesforce.com. Yes, you can take your data with you! You’re not stuck with them forever. Can you imagine? Changing software systems that simply? Yes, it takes time to get things in order, but hey, you are not beholden to any one company! What a wonderful and freeing feeling.

So, what we have now, is the ability to do our work using the best of all worlds. The client server model (yes, I can download my data, work off my servers at the office, etc) AND the mainframe model (having access to super fast machines, centralizing the hardware maintenance for the heavy lifting, etc). And, the cherry on top is that we can MOVE SYSTEMS. I can take my data anywhere I want. This is just wonderful and feeds my yogic mentality.

NOTE:  I have another post coming about moving from Google Apps to another Google Apps (different domain name) and the process that took. It was not easy, but it was do-able.

2 Comments

  1. Keeter Consulting

    6 years ago  

    I’m shifting to the cloud, an encouraging my customers to do so as well. The upside are obvious: less chance of losing your data when you’re nephew drops your notebook PC into the washing machine, easier collaboration with others, easier access to your information via smart phone or tablet PC, no need to drop $100-$300 on MS Office, etc.

    But I’m still not 100% cozy with the idea.

    1. First, even now, broadband Internet access is not guaranteed all the time or everwhere. Bad news if you’re physically unable to access your own information.

    2. If I keep my data on a removable hard drive, I can be 100% sure that no one online isn’ covertly perusing, altering or deleting it. When your stuff resides on the cloud, how would you even know it? And I have to believe that between the 1,000+ pages of The Patriot Act and the gajillion user agreements we all click without reading, there’s probably even a legal way “they” could do it.

    3. As the first round of Kindle users discovered, Amazon was able to alter the content in some books that people had already purchased, and delete others…all without the owner’s knowledge or consent.

    4. The cloud is wonderful when it’s free like the email accounts we all have through Google, Yahoo. AOL, etc., but what’s to stop the companies who own these cloud systems from arbitrarily changing that? That could be a huge problem for people or organizations whobare fully integrated into one or more clouds.

    So…the cloud. Yay, but let’s not stick our necks too far out on the chopping block a we adopt it.

  2. Ashima Saigal

    6 years ago  

    As you say, there is much to learn and understand. Our government is still in the fax era and isn’t quite China when it comes to listening. Now, hackers, that’s an entirely different story. True, it could be detrimental to your data, but that’s why you should always back up your data.

    Let me just say this about your comments, these reactions were the same as we moved from mainframe to client server. It’s a natural reaction to change. I find it quite normal to be tentative and careful (and quite smart). But, change is inevitable and I applaud your willingness to realize this is the wave that is coming.

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