Working in “The Cloud”

Ah yes, “The Cloud”. It’s such a ubiquitous concept, mentioned in just about every IT context you can think of. However, it’s often pretty vague and can leave you wondering what on earth people are actually talking about and why you should listen.

cloud_computing

Here’s a small but hopefully mildly interesting example of why cloud computing might be useful for you.

You may have noticed that there was a fairly substantial update to Windows 10 this week. I made the mistake of trying to install it during the day, meaning I couldn’t work on my laptop for around an hour and a half.

Fortunately, I spend most of my day working in Google Chrome or a remote desktop session to one of our servers in Microsoft Azure. The below covers most of what I need to do day to day:

  1. Email – Outlook on Office 365. I prefer the online version to the traditional desktop client these days.
  2. Writing requirements for my developers to work on – Visual Studio Online, accessed via the online portal.
  3. NAV development and testing – all done on a server in Azure which I connect to via an RDP session.
  4. Working on shared documents – SharePoint on Office 365, using the online versions of Office apps to edit them.
  5. Other document storage – I use a combination of OneDrive and Google Drive, both have the capability of editing your documents in the browser.
  6. Note taking – Evernote, which has a lovely online interface for reading and editing.
  7. Tecman’s internal Microsoft Dynamics NAV – hosted in Azure, access via the web client.
  8. Tecman’s internal Microsoft Dynamics CRM – also accessed through the browser.
  9. I use Skype and Skype for Business to keep in touch with colleagues – both via desktop clients but both have online alternatives (albeit with limited functionality).

While my laptop was out of action I was able to jump onto a different machine and carry on working – without installing any software or even logging on as myself. I can’t pretend that working entirely in the cloud is a flawless experience (yet), but it is possible – at least for the kinds of tasks that I need to do.

At the very least it is good to know that I can access all the systems and data that I need from any machine, anywhere with internet access.

Oooooo….the Clooouuud indeed.

How quickly could you be up and running on a different machine? What can you not do working from home that you can from the office?

Find more information at https://www.tecman.co.uk/Software/Applications/Office-365

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