Miguel Villalpando
Vice President of Sales and Marketing
VIAS3D

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Expert Contributor

Is It Going to Rain? Don’t Be Afraid of the Cloud

By Miguel Villalpando | Fri, 08/26/2022 - 13:00

The cloud. I will tell you the truth, like many of my readers, the first time I heard about it, I thought: “Is it going to rain?”

Yes, I’m an old-fashioned CEO who runs a small business with old-fashioned technology and with old-fashioned team members working for me. But the world is changing regarding cloud computing technology, with new ways of doing everything. Upgrades don’t scare me but old and slow ways of executing things do.

There. I said it. I know it’s a strange thing to admit, but there it is. The constant news around cloud computing and all the hype around its promise of faster, cheaper, and more accessible technology could make us a bit anxious.

But the reality is that the cloud has been there for decades, from 1998, when we created our first email accounts on AOL or Hotmail and we were so happy about this new era of technology. Did you ever wonder where those emails were stored?

Technology is evolving rapidly. Several years ago, the idea of a cloud computing system would have seemed far-fetched. However, it’s now perceived as a logical step in the advancement of technology. Now, the cloud is a descriptive name for the technology that has been around for quite some time, housing information, software, infrastructure, and security.

As a matter of fact, we’ve been using the cloud model in our daily lives for quite some time now.

Believe it or not, at this exact moment, there’s more information about you in the cloud than on any hard drive: photos, emails, songs, social media information, everything. Without the cloud, we wouldn’t be able to conceive the way we lead our lives outside of the work environment. But when we try to bring this same concept to our work processes, we tend to feel anxious and afraid.

The advantages of working in the cloud are many. I will try to explain them with an example of an everyday situation: using the Uber app

The last time I checked how much storage space the Uber app was using on my phone it was 400MB, which is about 80 songs in MP3 format. Based on this, where is all the map information? The drivers’ information? What about the algorithm that connects drivers with users and web mapping? The safe answer is: in a public cloud. To be exact, in the Amazon Cloud.

The cloud allows us to keep the Uber app updated and ready to go, only requiring an internet connection to access the software. The Uber team has never come to our homes to install the application or download any maps of the cities or the drivers’ profiles on our computers. The only thing we have to do is update the app occasionally.

Have you ever worried about the infrastructure that supports the Uber service? Surely not. Managing hundreds of thousands of users, drivers and maps is not easy but as part of the rate you pay for each trip, a certain amount goes to the use of that cloud infrastructure (IAAS, or infrastructure as a service).

How could we use this in our work? In a very similar way, we can access mechanical, design, or simulation software from our devices. We can use it online and the manufacturer takes care of the necessary infrastructure to provide this service. In the same way, under the same fee, users can access SAAS and IAAS. Thus, the vendor does not need to worry about how to host infrastructure. He only worries about the creation of a good reputation between the customer and himself. He doesn’t have to install servers in racks anywhere, or have an automatic system recovery strategy, or even have to worry about backup. All of this is covered by the provider so that the SAAS customer doesn’t have to worry about it and can focus on his product.

Using cloud technology, the IT team no longer needs to worry about accessibility issues from your end to their software, or about features not working on your hardware. One major aspect that is usually overlooked is the number of devices per employee. In today’s modern work environment, we use phones, tablets, and laptops. When using the cloud, their only concern is that you can access the internet and click on your favorite web browser.

Cloud and 5G will make life a lot easier and less frustrating for you to migrate your business to the digital transformation.

It’s a little like the early internet era, where the idea of a new wave of computing changed the world. My only advice is: Don’t be afraid of change. It always brings new opportunities to those who adapt.

Photo by:   Miguel Villalpando

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