Ready or not, Cloud Computing is about to proliferate.
The basic idea of cloud computing is to have your applications run via the World Wide Web, rather than a local server in your company or simply the hard drive of your PC.
In other terms, you will now log into Office 365, a new version of Microsoft Office whereby the application runs "online" and is easily accessible from anywhere in the world that has a WiFi connection. Many other applications will soon follow this same model and be available online.
There are many advantages to this. Small companies will not need the services of an IT Department, as all software version upgrades will now take place outside the company. Backup of files will no longer be the responsibility of the small business, but rather the company providing the Cloud services.
Yet there are some disadvantages, and in my opinion, these disadvantages outweigh the aforementioned benefits. Primarily your data files will now be controlled by others. Additionally, if your internet connectivity is down, you no longer have access to the program.
There have long been concerns with privacy ever since computers invaded our lives. The electronic footprint that one leaves during everyday experiences is mind boggling. Security cameras pick up where you go, EZPass tracks your toll activity, GPS tracks your driving record, computers track your website history, credit cards track your shopping history, libraries track your book/video interests, telecom services track all your personal calls and food stores and pharmacies track your every purchase etc.
What emerges from these realizations, are common themes that have been features many a time on this blog.
First of all, we must really begin to appreciate Shabbos, when all the electronic interruptions are halted for one day a week.
The second thought we must encounter is the realization that the current privacy issues make the thought of GOD so much more real and relevant. Years ago it was unimaginable to understand how all our actions will be held accountable for one day, how we will watch a replay of our lives after 120 years...
Yet the same "cloud" that spies on us, is the same "Anan" that protects us. Once we realize that we have nothing to fear.