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Computers. They sustain us in countless ways. Information, communication, entertainment. In the last two decades computers have become a part of our every day lives.

But what happens when computers fail? Who hasn’t lost important data when their computer has gone down? And more importantly, how do you protect yourself so that when the inevitable happens, it’s less tragic?

flickr photo by

flickr photo by

When it comes to email, the answer is simple. The time has come to move to the clouds. Locally installed email applications are just accidents waiting to happen. If you lose all your email — contacts, conversation history, everything — when your computer crashes, you are suffering unnecessarily.

Cloud computing refers to online, third-party hosting of software (also referred to as Software as a Service). Googledocs is a good example of this — you create a document in Googledocs and it’s hosted on their server. You can access it from any computer with Internet access, just by logging into your account.  Your file is  in the clouds, and you can pull it down to work on it at any time.

There are a lot of good reasons to move your email to the clouds. In fact, many folks already have, using Hotmail or Yahoo for personal email accounts. Cloud-based solutions for your business email are the next logical step.

Cloud Computing and Your Bottom Line

From a corporate perspective, one of the biggest benefits is that when your email is hosted elsewhere, you don’t have to worry about installing software or having enough memory or backup storage — your IT infrastructure concerns are eliminated. Less time wasted on installations and maintenance means more time for the real work of doing business.

Quick and Painless Software Updates

Another less obvious benefit is the real-time updating that SaaS allows. When a web-based service has a new feature or bug fix, you get it as soon as it’s released. You don’t need to reinstall, redownload, reboot… all of that is taken care of, and you reap the rewards without the hassle.

The Obvious Solution

Finally, moving your email to the clouds just makes sense. Working from home while waiting for the plumber? Check your email. Stuck in the airport for hours with only your laptop to keep you company? Check your email. Staying at your brother-in-law’s house and can’t stand another round of Yahtzee? Check your email (or hide in the garage…).

When your email is hosted in the clouds, you can have access to the information you need, when you need it, where ever you may be.

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