We like to simplify how we define things.  Watergate made the term “cover-up” so passé.  Now it’s “Contragate,” recently “Climategate,” and my personal favorite, “Billygate.”  By simply adding a suffix, we can lump every perceived scandal together!  And the best part is, we don’t even need a lot of letters to do it.

Sometimes, though, we prefer a word.  “Bubble” comes to mind.  We had the “Dot Com Bubble,” of course the “Real Estate Bubble,” and the one I hope bursts sooner rather than later, the “Silly Band Bubble” (please-please-pleeeeeeze burst soon!).

But once in a while, a simple letter will do.  Those who were around the dot com days of the 90’s remember the craze of the letter ‘e.’  All you had to do was to attach that letter to the beginning of any boring, traditional old school way of doing anything, and *wow!*  You had yourself something really cool.  Mail became eMail.  Shopping became eShopping.  Commerce became eCommerce.  Dating became eDating, and Divorce became…well, more common, it would seem.

And now I’m seeing a new kind of stereotype happening.  And it’s unavoidable.  And the best thing is, it has the benefit of seeming to be well-defined, but in fact it isn’t.  Which is really cool, if you want to act really smug and yet not really know what you’re talking about (why are you looking at me that way?).

It’s “The Cloud.”  I know, I know…if you’re like me, you instantly think of “The Clouds,” written by Aristophanes back in 419BC.  This play includes the famous line “I have a bum-bailiff in the bedclothes biting me.”  (Actually I confess…I don’t have the courage to search what a bum-bailiff means)

Anywho, you’d be wrong.  “The Cloud,” in this case, refers to something altogether different.  If you ask Wikipedia, “Cloud computing is Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices on demand…”

Huh?

Ok, this means that something “out there” is providing specific resources to you “here.”  But by that definition, a web site could be Cloud Computing, right?  Well, yeah.  But for most purposes, people are talking about a specific service that until recently would be housed inside your organization.

Why should you be interested?  If you’re a small organization, you can “rent” cloud-based services, like email through Microsoft Hosted Exchange, without buying a server, licensing software, backup devices, battery backups…and if you’re a large organization, you can essentially outsource the entire maintenance of standard applications (again, email being a poster child) so your IT staff can focus on applications specific to your organization.  More and more services are being offered through the cloud.  Backups, anti virus, anti spam, archiving, database apps, CRM (Customer Relationship Management).

And there’s more on the way.  If you’re not sure how to take advantage of The Cloud, give me a shout at Bob@Simplex-IT.com.

One thing that isn’t Cloud Based, though, is our 3rd Annual Simplex-IT Picnic.  Held at our worldwide Headquarters at 5225 Darrow Road, it’ll be on Wednesday, August 18th from 4-8pm.  Last year we had over 70 people.  This year, who knows?  It’s free and open to the public.  Please RSVP so we know what kind of burger you like by calling in at 234.380.1277 or emailing John at John@Simplex-IT.com.