I am certain you have heard the terms “cloud computing” or “put it on the cloud.” However, as cloud technology continues to develop, it’s important to take the time to actually work with a cloud-based solution AND tie it to meeting benefits. This might seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be!
Today’s post will focus on the many benefits of cloud computing, the apps that are available and the different types of clouds you might consider.
But first, a definition is needed to get us started.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage and process data.
Why Use the Cloud?
The Cloud Allows for Collaboration
Think of it this way: you travel all the time and so do your stakeholders. Why not use the cloud to access your documents to make edits and suggestions to them? I recently used the cloud for a major project I managed. It was easy to see who last accessed the document and the thread of comments and questions regarding that document.
Everyone Has Access to the Latest Information
Rather than waiting for emails due to file size restrictions, travel or time zone differences, the cloud allows anyone who has access to see the data as it is posted from any device anywhere (as long as there is an Internet connection) at any time. No more waiting for critical emails.
You can use the Cloud for:
- Vendor contracts
- Event schedules
- Speaker bios and videos
- Important documents
- Audience feedback
The Cloud Is Good for the Environment
All your paper (including heavy conference binders) can be eliminated.
You Can Get a Good Night’s Sleep Because Your Data Is Backed Up
Because the data is stored on remote servers and backed up continuously, you don’t have to worry about computers crashing or malware issues.
You Will Be Able to See What Works and What Doesn’t
Having all your data in one location, you will be able to see a collective repository of ideas, challenges and feedback about your meeting so you can duplicate what works in the future and eliminate what does not.
What You Need to Consider
First and foremost, do you need a public, private or hybrid cloud solution?
Most public offerings such as Bitcasa, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and iCloud all are free or have free offerings. However, you should know that these service providers own and operate this infrastructure, and because it is public, these types of databases are usually targeted by potential hackers.
Private network offerings such as Carbonite, eFileCabinet, SugarSync and Huddle are fee-based networks that offer a more advanced suite of security functions, while allowing users the capability to grow cloud services as needed.
Hybrid offerings are, of course, a combination of the two listed above. You might need some things to be very public (e.g., marketing materials) and others to be very private (e.g., new product specifications), which might be a part of the same meeting.
Second, how much storage do you need?
This might impact whether or not you can utilize a public cloud, as these providers have limited storage options.
Third, can you access the data seamlessly between platforms?
For example, the iCloud app doesn’t translate to the majority of Android devices. In addition, if your attendees are going to access the cloud on a variety of operating systems and platforms, you need to make certain they all work well and do not distort the documents.
Fourth, is there any limit to the number of concurrent users accessing the same information?
This is probably more a bandwidth question, but it is worth asking. If 2,000 attendees are accessing the same data, will the process be seamless?
About Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Inspired by the adventure and intrigue of Africa, Kalahari Resorts is a great destination for group travelers. Whether planning a large convention, trade show or retreat, we have state-of-the-art Internet capabilities to handle your cloud computing needs. Fill out our online RFP to get started!