In simple terms, cloud based software is where the software that would normally reside on your own computer, is moved to an online storage facility.
- OK you might say, but what is the problem.
The issues surround the fact that it is not only the software, but your business data that is moved into this online storage facility. Still OK but have you considered:
- a privacy issues (how many people have had their credit card details hacked and made available to third parties
- data ownership. The data ownership issue is the real big unknown.
If you put your software and data in the online storage facility (called “The cloud”)
- you must pay to store and access the data
- who owns the data.
- If you stop paying your subscription to say MYOB, what happens to your data?
In a recent meeting with a technical advisor from MYOB, South East Access were advised that if you cease paying your subscription the data will only be held for a limited time. This is a problem as any business must hold all of their records for a minimum 5 years, and in some cases indefinitely (payroll in particular).
The use of cloud based software (including MYOB) is becoming an issue with the debate getting really hot. The “for” argument is lower costs and flexibility.
The “against” is now growing in momentum with the Optus TV rights case last week really getting the “against” group fired up, with concerns about copyright and the definition of who owns the data.
Recently MyBusiness E News, highlights some of the “against” issues including the view that once loaded on to “The cloud” you lose ownership of your data. http://mybusiness.com.au/technology/footy-fight-shows-how-cloud-computing-can-kill-your-business
While MYOB have, and are continuing to, move very fast to fix the problems, the technical advice we have received is “Don’t do it”.
We have been told that the problems surround the software running continuously in the background even though you have logged out of the product.
The product is very computer processing power hungry and will kill most computers used by small to medium businesses.
Is this indicative of the future of cloud processing? We don’t really know. We believe it is a case of “Watch this space”.