Since it is a New Year, it’s time once again for me to set up my Business Resolutions for the year. I started doing this last year, and it was very successful, so it is a habit that I certainly want to continue in the New Year.
What is a Business Resolution? Well, it is just like a New Year Resolution, but it is focused on business! It is a list of things that I want to focus on in my business life for 2014, a way to improve my businesses, and thus to increase my earnings.
So, over the next week or so, I will be posting my various Business Resolutions for 2014, and let you know what my plans are, and why.
My first Business Resolution for 2014 is…
Migrate to the Cloud
This particular resolution may or may not lead to increased earnings, but it will certainly make me more efficient and also more portable.
For those who don’t know, the “cloud” is basically the Internet. It is Internet-based computing. In the past, almost everybody has used local storage to store their documents, photos, videos, any kind of data that they needed to store. We all have hard drives on our computers. Many of us also have an array of external hard drives, USB drives and such on which we store data. Using the Cloud just means that you are going to store your data on a server on the Internet instead of (or in addition to) local storage.
How does the cloud help?
Well, the cloud is your friend for a number of reasons.
To me, the most important reason is that the cloud gives you portability. These days, almost all of us use multiple devices to access the Internet and to do our work. Because we use multiple devices, we are not tied down to one location. We can usually access the Internet no matter where we are. If I am in the office, I am usually on the net using my Desktop PC (OK, really it’s a laptop, but I use it as a desktop). If I am watching TV, I usually have my tablet by my side in case I get an important e-mail or something of that nature. If I go to the mall or somewhere else around town, I always have my cellular phone. All of these devices have access to the Internet and can access websites, e-mail or whatever I need. In the past, my biggest problem was that if I was out and about and got an e-mail from a client, I often needed to access a document or file that was on my Desktop PC. Now, since I am using the cloud to store my data, I have access to the documents and files on all of my various devices. Very convenient.
Another thing that makes the cloud your friend is that you don’t have to worry about continually needing to get another hard drive because your old one is full. On the cloud, you don’t have to worry about the hardware, as you don’t own it anyway. Most cloud computing services do have limits of how much data you can store, but they also offer upgrades to other plans that give more space. The fact is that I have access for free to many different cloud services, and will initially use multiple accounts to have all of the storage space that I need or even want. Later, I may decide to set into one account and pay a small fee for the amount of storage that I need. I will need to use the cloud for a while to see what works best for me.
Can the cloud cause problems?
Of course, you can have problems anytime there are computers involved!
The biggest fear is that the service that you use will have a hard drive crash and lose your data. That can happen whether you host the data locally or use somebody else’s server on the cloud.
There are ways to minimize the risk, though. Firstly, instead of relying 100% on the cloud, also keep a copy of the data on your PC. In my case, having three different Internet-enabled devices, I will store my data only on my Desktop PC in the office. That way, if the Cloud platform has a problem where data is lost, I have the ability to restore that data and did not suffer a loss.
However, in the long run, I may make a complete migration to the cloud. I am confident that the big services like Google and others who are offering Cloud storage have very redundant plans to ensure the safety of the data that they are storing for their clients. In fact, I am virtually certain that the odds are that I would have a failure resulting in loss of data using my home PC before these big companies would. I am pretty confident in people like Google to be able to ensure the safety of my data.
Of course, another concern is if your account is hacked and your data falls into the wrong hands. I don’t consider this to be a huge concern, though, because I use very strong passwords, and am very security conscience. I have never been hacked, never had a virus, etc., and I don’t see it happening anytime in the future either.
What Cloud Service will I be using?
Google Drive. There are other services as well, but I think that Google has a good track record when it comes to data storage. They are also a very high profile company that if they screwed up and caused data loss or corruption of their service, they would get a huge black eye, and thus they have the systems in place to prevent this sort of thing. So, Google Drive is. Also, I have Google for my domains, which means that for every domain, I get 100 different Google Accounts for free. Each account can have up to 15Gb storage for free on Google Drive, and thus with the number of domains that I own, I have a virtually unlimited amount of storage space available on Google Drive.
This is a Business Resolution for the New Year, and I actually started moving to the Cloud on January 1 or 2, I don’t remember which day. I am nearly finished with moving all of my data, and it should be smooth sailing after I do finish. So far, it has been easy to move the data, and everything has gone smoothly. So, I am just letting you know about my migration… and it is already nearly complete too!
See you in the cloud?
So will you be switching to Chrome?
What is your feeling about chromebooks vs. laptops?
No need to switch, Gerald… Chrome has been my browser of choice for 5 years or so now.
I don’t have any feeling about Chromebooks, because I have never used one or even seen one. I do know that Chromebooks operate on some flavor of Linux, though, and I have used Linux off and on for years and like it, so I think that using a Chromebook is probably OK. Just haven’t used one myself. 🙂
By the way, just one other thing… using Google Drive does not require you to use Chrome, or to use any certain operating system either. Just want to clarify that.
I am using Google Drive but I find the upload of files to be horribly horribly slow. It reminds me of a bad dial up connection.
It is not my internet connection which is quite fast but rather the throttling at the Google end.
I am in Australia. What is your experience there?
Hi Michael – I’m sorry to hear that! I have been using Google Drive for about 3 weeks now, and one thing that has really surprised me is the speed, I find it pretty fast! My connection is pretty good for the Philippines, but probably not as fast as yours in Australia. I suppose if I was working with huge files it might be slow, but for the types of files I am using, it is quite good.
Two apps that I use every day of the year are DropBox and Evernote and for precisely the reasons that you describe. I save everything to DropBox (although important documents are saved elsewhere as well). This gives me the ability to work from whichever of my numerous devices is sitting in front of me.
Likewise with Evernote. It gives me the ability to take notes and use them or modify them from wherever I happen to me. I also keep my To Do list in Evernote as well.
I like Google Drive quite a bit. The only reason that I do not use it (much) is because I got started with DropBox first. I have found both to be great products.
Hi Tom – It sounds like we are doing very similar things.. or that you are doing what I am moving toward. I have already mostly made the shift, although I have a few loose ends to tie up. I’m glad to hear that it works well for you.
By the way, Chromebooks are quite nice if you live in the Google World of technology. It’s not something that you can put MS Office on, but it is something that works well in many other areas. I use it mostly for meetings and need access to the cloud (again, that Dropbox and Evernote thing).