Published on June 18th, 2012 | by Ivan Widjaya0
Digital Nomad and The Cloud
Have you ever heard about the cloud? There’s a big craze going on in the IT world that both businesses and individual computing device and tech users can’t ignore: Cloud computing a.k.a. the cloud. What is the cloud and what can it offer in helping you running a location independent business?
A very short brief on cloud computing
Explaining cloud computing is not easy – even Wikipedia can’t really explain it properly to non-techies.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing and storage capacity as a service to a heterogeneous community of end-recipients. (Source: Wikipedia)
Okay – in essence, cloud computing basically refer to the resources you can use without the need for you to buy expensive hardware and software. Regular individual and business users typically use SaaS (Software-as-a-Service.)
Still too technical? Fear not – some examples might do the trick; although explaining cloud computing is a rather tough job, using the cloud for your digital nomadic lifestyle is not as hard as you think – in fact, chances are, you are already using the cloud without you realizing it. Want some proofs? Okay – here they go:
Using Dropbox to store and share your files? You are actually using a cloud storage service – you are in the cloud.
Receiving and sending emails using Gmail? Using Google Apps for Business? You are in the cloud.
Using your iPhone to download music from iTunes? You are in the cloud.
Browsing the web using your Galaxy Note? You are in the cloud.
Chatting with your client using Skype? You are in the cloud.
Video conferencing with your stakeholders? You are in the cloud.
Using online fax service? You are in the cloud.
The list can be endless; the bottom line, when you plug your devices – tablets, smartphones, etc. – to the Internet, you are practically plugging yourself into the cloud.
Why the cloud is a digital nomad’s best friend?
It’s obvious, really. The available cloud-based solutions let you run your business from any parts of the world. What wasn’t possible – like managing customer relationships from your mobile phone, now you can do so using your smartphone using CRM apps. Ever dreamed of managing your call center team via a mobile device? Now you can do it easily.
Today, almost all business management activities can be done using a mobile device – a laptop, tablet or smartphones and an Internet connection (a reliable one, that is.) That’s all. Throw powerful cloud-based software and freelancing forces in the mix, you can get your whole system to work FOR you via automation and outsourcing.
So, are you interested in running your business in the cloud and do so whenever, wherever you want? If your answer is yes, then your next step is to set a plan on how you can make your business to be mobile-enabled: Changing your communication policies, changing the work process, even changing your entire company’s paradigm.
Indeed, it’s not as simple as it sounds – but it’s worth pursuing. What you need is an open mind that is receptive toward new things to do business.
I was a brick-and-mortar business owner, and have been doing my things to enable my current business to be run as a location independent business. I am neither a techie nor a gadget geek; I need to learn things myself. If I can do it, so can you!
So – here is a couple of questions for you: Do you really want the freedom and challenges presented by pursuing the digital nomad lifestyle? If so, what do you think you need to do in order to get to where you want?