Living and working in the cloud

I have been working in the cloud and for myself now for the last 8 months since leaving K2. It’s also the second attempt of being self employed in my 15 year plus career. The biggest difference is that I no longer carry big a rucksack around mainly full of external hard drives, papers and books. My home doesn’t have a server sitting in the corner producing enough heat to heat up the house and the fan isn’t singing a terrible song.

Now I just carry my surface and mobile phone. I work and keep everything in the cloud. This is brilliant as I don’t need to worry about my external hard disc failing on me at key point in a demo or presentation. Which I have been there so many times in the past, with the sales guy quickly stepping in to entertain the prospect client as I figure out what’s gone wrong. I can hold a virtual meetings in Starbucks surrounded by other people going about their daily lives, with the client unaware where I am holding the meeting.

I am even writing this article sitting on the underground right now, mobile working is brilliant.

working in the cloud

Cloud computing for me and many other small companies is good and it helps me run my business  from anywhere. Office 365 is one of the key components to this as I can keep all my documents on ‘One drive’ and share them to my team and clients when needed. I can Skype my accountant and get an update on where things are. I can have my team collectively work on a presentation and even better I can access this information on virtually any platform whether it’s my surface or my iPhone or even on someone else’s computer in another country.

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It’s not just Office 365 that makes it easier to work. Salesforce gives me access to my customer accounts and sales figures so I can see what’s in the pipeline. Linked in with my accounting software I can raise invoices and pay bills from anywhere.

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No longer is there a need to carry customer files and post invoices to customers. We can truly live in a paperless world.

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I am  developer and cloud computing has helped with that too. I can use Azure hosted virtual machines, so there is no longer a need to have a powerful laptop that is really heavy to carry and to big to sit on my lap on a train and work. I use Visual Studio Online to mange my software projects so I can create user stories and tasks for my team and check where we are in the project. I can release builds from anywhere and make it available for my clients or to the public with other services like GitHub.

It’s not just work that lives in the cloud, I no longer buy CDs or blu Rays , physical books  or  games it’s all streamed from services like Netflix , Spotify and Amazon. It just makes life easier I can access my entertainment from anywhere and I don’t need to have my house full of shelves filled with dusty books and CDs etc..

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Yes there is drawbacks to this complete cloud living  I do rely on an Internet signal, but now a days this isn’t really a problem as most places have public wifi and all of us carry a 4G mobile with us so we can always use that for Internet access. The other drawback is I am always tied to a service but I don’t mind that as I know longer have to worry about having servers some where and opening up ports to access that data on the move and paying for upgrades and installing new software. It frees up time paying for cloud services as its all done for me and I can just forget about it and concentrate on the things that  are important which is writing good software and saving the world.

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