Is the cloud for me?

By Ramez Rafla
November 8, 2022


Everywhere we go, we hear about the cloud! Experts tell us it's then next big thing and if we don't get on now, we'll miss the boat.

The story gets even deeper, with most major software makers offering their products as a SaaS (Software as a Service). Which essentially means you get "right to use" rather than outright ownership.

Digital historians will look back at this age extract some clear trends. Let's dive together into them to demystify this mess.

This is the first of many articles on the cloud. Make sure you subscribe to our newsletter in the footer below to hear more from our thought leaders.

What is the cloud?

In its pure raw form, the cloud is a series of inter-connected computers in a data center, which allows you (or us) to host our applications. Instead of owning our computers in the office, we now timeshare these devices.

You can customize the type of hardware (cpus, memory), network (which computers talk to each other), disk space etc.

The rest, Artificial Intelligence, Metaverse, Big Data ... are just applications sitting on these computers. Cloud providers simply add these applications to add more value to their services.

One of the most common applications is Database as a Service. Instead of managing your database yourself, the cloud provider handles it for you. They manage a cluster of databases, ensures their up-time as well as their backups.

Is it really cheaper?

Generally speaking, absolutely.

Typical industry benchmarks are 15% savings on average.

OneOffice customers report 50% savings or more -- This is due to the combination of solid cloud (often Huawei Cloud), a single integrated application, and investment in leading technology. More on that in the next article.

These numbers don't factor in:

  • Solid resilience
  • Reduced downtime
  • Improved efficiency (still looking for that proposal?)

Why now? Computers were invented in the 80s

One of the main drivers of the cloud is the reduced cost of networking. Bandwidth is cheap and reliable. That means you can access your work and data from anywhere.

A second driver is the improvement in web technologies. A mere 20 years ago, no one thought we could collaboratively edit documents in the browser.

OneOffice allows over 1000 people to edit a Word / Excel / PPT document at the same time! Microsoft 365 uses different technology and can optimally sustain a dozen people.

So might as well offload the cost of maintenance to someone else, who can do it more efficiently when managing thousands of servers at the same time.

Can everything be done in the cloud?

Well, almost. Some applications such as real-time face recognition are challenging to do remotely. Imagine your security cameras streaming non-stop to the cloud and getting streams back with results to process. Not very efficient.

An application that was once thought as local only, gaming, is now cloud-ready. We are able to stream games thanks to efficient networks.

That's how OneOffice renders documents online, we stream its content to you. A 100-slide Powerpoint presentation opens right away as we only need the current page.

Other than bandwidth-intensive real-time applications, pretty much everything can be done in the cloud.

OneOffice is a great example. You can now have your full office online -- emails, files, video call etc. You don't have to worry about installing applications on your desktop anymore. All you need is a browser.

Am I safer? Can't someone steal my data

That is the main concern. How do you harden your system is a conversation. But remember, no applications, means less risk of viruses, ransomware etc.

But, to start:

  1. Make sure you host closer to home to ensure data sovereignty - don't host in a far away country
  2. Make sure you use multi-factor authentication (using secure mobile apps to ensure you are who you say you are)
  3. Limit your users' saving files on their desktop. Use your cloud drive

Case in point, OneOffice secures each user's drive files

  1. Make sure you use a system with version control, so that file changes are saved, in case someone edits or deletes your files

OneOffice has built-in Data Loss Prevention, so your files are always backed up

Ramez Rafla
Ramez Rafla is the CEO and founder of OneOffice. Having completed a B.Eng, M.Eng as well as an MBA, he considers himself a lifelong learner. When he is not causing too much trouble in the company, he enjoys spending time with his wife and playing with his three kids

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