I stayed very busy on Saturday, December 19, 2009. I did not just move to my five year old town around to the Christmas rehearsal at Christmas party and his birthday party, as I wrote several posts and articles on a blog (including this article) , Revised My current bank account information, receipts entered into my checkbook record, my budget program, and my updated business plan have created a survey form and responded to about 10 emails. I did not open one app besides the Firefox browser. I have access to all my programs through the Internet. My first all-day experience with web-based computing, also called cloud computing, was a huge success!
Web-based computing simply means that instead of using njit software downloads on your hard drive, you can open your software online. You can open your web browser and access the program’s website and open the program and start using the program. Like many computer users over the past 25 years, Microsoft has identified my user experience program. If you need to update a spreadsheet, you open Microsoft Excel. I have created word processing documents in Word, and I open Outlook to check my e-mail or calendar. I used the Internet only to search news sites, shop online, or check my social profiles on LinkedIn or Facebook. Over the past several months, I have shifted my focus entirely to using Microsoft products as little as possible. I should have seen this progress coming. We’ve seen a lot of our business moves within a web browser. Whether we’ve purchased books from Amazon.com or downloaded directly from a website, we’re assigning an increasing amount of commerce to web-based activity. Using web-based software for all computing is a very logical next step.
I no way fight Microsoft. For many high-level spreadsheet activities like my work at work, nothing works better than an Excel spreadsheet. I also need to use Excel in many cases, because add-in programs in Excel allow for more data analysis and productivity. However, many people are not like me and do not work with 30 spreadsheets every day. Many people need more than the basic features of the traditional Microsoft Office suite. For these purposes, web-based programs such as Google Docs are more than sufficient to meet the needs of users.
Major software companies pick up quickly. Google for Web-based applications is arguably the most popular web software, but other companies like Adobe (Check Adobe Buzzword) offer competing products. Even Microsoft is creating a copy of its Office software on the Internet, a clear recognition that computing is more about the Internet and less about CDs for shipping software. Other companies, such as 37 Signals, offer a number of software solutions to deal with a wide range of business problems.
Over the past two months, I’ve learned that you can do the following business with a web-based program.
Keep your accounting books
Prepare work plan information
Share documents on a shared team site
Prepare the presentations
Maintain your CRM program
Pay your bills by clearing your invoices
Here are five reasons why web-based software is an essential part of business computing.
Mobile computing – When we look back in this period, Apple will be famous for creating a truly mobile computing environment. While BlackBerries were important as communication tools, the iPhone made a leap from several levels to a handheld computer. Since smartphones have limited memory, any usable software must rely on the Web-based platform.
Increased cooperation – the rise of the free agent’s labor force, the ever-expanding global trade and the increase in the number of virtual teams – create a demand for easier cooperation. In the past, we had to send documents via e-mail or upload documents to the Internet using complex procedures. We will never know whether the version we were editing was “live” or “official”. The web-based program allows people around the world to access the same document at the same time. Liberalization and cooperation have become simpler and more productive for a connected workforce.
Data security – Your first response might be “How can using a web-based program be more secure than accessing a hard drive?” What will happen if a technology company such as Intuit (parent QuickBooks) or 37 large customer data signal is lost? The answer is the equivalent of Enron. These companies will collapse because the market will lose confidence in their ability to secure confidential data. These companies maintain much higher security levels than we can maintain on home computers or small business networks.