What Can the Cloud Do for You?

- Dieter Mulitze

Have you ever had to upgrade software? For many, a software upgrade is a time of anxiety; you don’t know what will happen to your interface or how long it will take to relearn where things are in the new system. Or even worse, have you been hit by a virus or malware? You sit and watch helplessly as your whole computer is compromised, performance begins to fail, files become inaccessible and data goes missing. Or have you been in a meeting half way across the country and wanted to quickly look at your data but don’t have any way to access it? The answer: The Cloud.

The cloud is more than just a trendy tech term; it’s solving business challenges and connecting people with people and people with data and data to data all over the world. I bet you use the cloud in your daily life and don’t even recognize it. Every time you update your Facebook status or Tweet, you’re using cloud computing. Do you check the balance on your bank account from your phone or iPad? That’s right, you’re using the cloud.

In its most basic form, cloud computing is computing based on the internet. It’s a network of servers that provide different services, and cloud computing is fast becoming the new normal. You might be thinking as a breeder, “So, how can the cloud help me?” Cloud users across a number of industries enjoy some of these same benefits:

• Access your data no matter your location.
• Scale up computing requirements in minutes, not weeks.
• Share data among team members in remote locations.
• Automatically backup your data and update software.
• Data security.

This last bullet is critical. Your precious data that you’ve been laboring over and collecting for years is not at risk from a fire, tornado or server crash.

So it’s no wonder that companies are spending billions of dollars on cloud services. In 2014, companies spent more than $170 billion on cloud services and that number is projected to grow to $235 billion by 2017, according to Rackspace, a managed cloud company. It’s difficult to find definitive numbers, but industry experts estimate that 90 percent of businesses have adopted the cloud in some way. Fifty-one percent of cloud adopters report reduced time spent managing IT, and another 50 percent say that fewer internal IT resources are required with the cloud. From the savings and efficiencies gained from using cloud services, 70 percent of companies have been able to reinvest in the company. This is just as true for plant breeders at seed companies or public institutions – harness the cloud so that you can spend more time at what you do best – plant breeding research.

Could this be a strategy to help you run a leaner workforce? Why not improve efficiency, streamline data collection and reporting, and secure your data? There’s a cloud waiting for you.