Advertising
Advertising

If You Aren’t Using Cloud Computing For Your Business Yet, You Should Be

If You Aren’t Using Cloud Computing For Your Business Yet, You Should Be

Cloud computing is the way of the future, and it’s making it easier for smaller companies to join the revolution of incorporating big data into how they function. Cloud computing has become financially accessible while retaining a maximum return on investment in the data realm.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing uses “the Cloud” to store and manage your data—so it isn’t on a local server or individual computer. “The Cloud” is a network of servers all over the world that provides external secure data collection and allows you to access your files from anywhere. Using cloud computing gives you superior storage capacity so you can expand the data you collect. It also provides a much safer backup solution and recovery system in the event of a disaster and loss of data. This alone explains its excellent ROI.

Advertising

Why Should My Company Be Using Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing options have never been less expensive than they are now, so even small companies have an opportunity to buy into this revolution in data storage. Business Intelligence (BI) refers to how you turn your raw data into something useful. One of the best examples right now is BI on Hadoop, as Hadoop has come to be synonymous with BI in many people’s minds. Smaller companies have long wrestled with this issue, collecting data and not being able to make sense out of all of it or having to purge data because of storage capacity. This leads to loss of data that might have been useful with the right BI tools. Cloud computing removes the need to purge data for space. The newest BI helps you to manage the increasing amounts of data you can now collect and turn it into data you can get the most out of. This means you can save everything from your data collection, even if you aren’t sure exactly how it is useful right now.

Best Options

Hadoop uses batch-oriented processing, storing transactional data and taking BI to the next level. Though Hadoop is still evolving to meet increasing demands for “big data,” it is at present one of the best options out there. As it rapidly evolves to develop better services, you can expect it to remain relevant and prepared to meet the evolving growth of data in your company. Hadoop scales up from one server to thousands easily while retaining data integrity. One of its greatest strengths is its programming, by which it catches data failures and fixes them early. The storage aspect is the lowest level of Hadoop use, and its strength is in how it makes your BI accessible, clean, and secure. It is also becoming the most scalable yet economically feasible options. If you want to watch your company grow and harness big data in the most efficient way, Hadoop is an investment in the future.

Advertising

NoSQL servers are another popular option because the queries are simpler. But it is also evolving, and developers are working to address some of its weaknesses. It is becoming more common to actually use NoSQL and Hadoop simultaneously for their individual strengths. One of the issues is that the coding for both is unique and requires sophistication. One of the investments necessary to properly harness the use of BI on any platform will be a quality IT staff that is familiar with existing frameworks and excited about ongoing changes and improvements.

There are numerous other tools for big data management and making the most of your BI, but none have continued to improve as fast as Hadoop and NoSQL or shown the same level of ROI.

Advertising

The Future

It is always scary for companies to make a big investment knowing that software and the BI landscape are constantly changing. For smaller companies, it can be especially difficult to make a decision, but indecision isn’t moving forward and leads to being left behind. Software is now being developed based on the assumption of cloud use, so keeping up with the best software may require cloud adoption. Early adoption of BI has proven to be a useful strategy, and today’s options are better situated to help you grow your business as the tools improve. Data is only going to increase, and harnessing it to your advantage means being prepared.

The security issue is also significant and should not be underestimated. Disaster preparedness plans in companies must include how data will be secured. Cloud computing ensures that your data is safe in the event of any office disaster. Not only is it safe, but it is accessible if you have to set up a makeshift business site or for staff that needs to work from home.

Advertising

Cloud computing options continue to improve, but getting on the cloud is the first step toward growing your business.

Featured photo credit: George Thomas via flickr.com

More by this author

Paisley Hansen

Freelance Writer

8 Things To Expect When You’re 8 Months Pregnant Easy Ways To Freshen Your Home This Winter 3 Tips for Mountain Biking With Your Family smart travel 4 Ways Your Kids Might Get Around in the Future 5 Companies Who Understand That Employees Deserve Recognition

Trending in Technology

1 7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively 2 7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Make the Most of Your Business in 2019 3 10 Smartest Productivity Software to Improve Your Work Performance 4 18 Best Time Management Apps and Tools (2019 Updated) 5 16 Less Known Gmail Hacks That Will Super Boost Your Productivity

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on February 15, 2019

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

Joe’s Goals

Advertising

     

    Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

    Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

    Daytum

      Daytum

      is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

      Advertising

      Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

      Excel or Numbers

        If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

        What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

        Evernote

        Advertising

          I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

          Evernote is free with a premium version available.

          Access or Bento

            If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

            Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

            Advertising

            You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

            Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

            All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

            Conclusion

            I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

            What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

            Read Next