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Work in the Cloud

Storing important files locally is so 2008.

I don’t need Microsoft Office anymore. Actually, I’ve used it decreasingly less for a few years now. Instead, I use Google docs for that. (Or Evernote on my iPhone.) The first thing group of editors do when they receive a new article for youthspecialties.com? Upload it to Google docs. When they are ready to share it, they don’t have to email it, they just share it and everyone on the team has it. When I need to write some copy on the fly, I just open a Google doc, invite a collaborator, and start writing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been writing a paragraph ahead of someone who is editing. I finish writing the copy and 30 seconds later its edited and ready to go out.

I don’t need a server at work anymore. If you opened up my personal folder from work you’d only find a few old back-ups. Why store stuff there and go through the awkwardness of connecting to a VPN when I can access it anywhere using Dropbox? As long as I have an internet connection my office is accessible. My file cabinets are mostly for show. Well, I hide gear in them. But no file folders. If I need it, I scan it and save it in the cloud.

Photo by zarprey via Flickr (Creative Commons)

Speaking of Dropbox, when I’m making stuff for McLane Creative, I just ask anyone else on the team to save their stuff on a shared Dropbox folder instead of on their computer. Dropbox installs on a Mac just like a folder… so that’s a snap. No more “can you email me the logo” stuff… everything from the entire project is right there. They make a change, everyone already has it. They want the creative brief? Done.

I’m looking forward to more and more of my creative desktop applications moving towards the cloud. I don’t know that I’d like to be 100% dependent on a solid internet connection for everything I do with Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, and Final Cut. But it would be pretty sweet to have the option of working off of a cloud-based drive and thinking about replacing the full version of them with a cloud-based version.

But with Amazon’s S3 getting cheaper and now Google docs getting in the cloud storage gameyou can see we’re headed there.

Why on earth would a start-up company buy a physical server (with ridiculous hardware and software costs at your scale) when they can store everything in the cloud for $.14/gb per month? I know I wouldn’t. And IT guys who flap their gums about security? They need to adapt their game. You’ll only be able to convince execs of those lies for so long. Remember IT guys capitalized on the Y2K lie, too.

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