PLYMOUTH — When it comes to cloud computing, tech consultant Michael Simon Bodner says, “This is not an option” — it’s mandatory.

Like Star Trek’s Borg, he says, “Resistance is futile.”

Bodner told a CEO audience Thursday that the advantages of cloud computing are just so compelling that every business will likely make use of it and benefit from it.

“Start experimenting and prepare to prosper,” Bodner told an audience of about 150 at the Vistage Michigan Technology Summit at the Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth. Vistage is a business leadership group.

Bodner said cloud computing is essentially computing as a utility, like electricity of phone service. Whatever you need — specific applications or programs, storage, backup, security — is simply there when you plug into network jack the wall or link up with wireless connectivity. You pay based on usage; you no longer buy software.

He said companies like Microsoft face “huge competition” from services like Google Apps. “You’d be stunned at the size of companies using Google Apps,” Bodner said. “Universities. Whole countries in Eastern Europe.”

Not to mention huge e-commerce businesses like Amazon and eBay. “They run in the cloud,” Bodner said.

That means local file, application and database servers will no longer be required to host a company’s office software. Backup will also become automatic.

Costs will decline, data storage will become more reliable, and group collaboration will become easier, Bodner said.

As for safety, Bodner said, “the cloud actually improves data safety … as it is now, the laptops that walk out of your building every day contain a lot of information that you don’t want to lose.”

As for employee anxiety about what happens when “the Internet goes down,” Bodner said, users must design around it. “If you’re worried about a backhoe taking out your data line, make sure there’s one line going out of one side of the building and another line going out the other side,” he said.

For a short video explaining cloud computing, Bodner offered

The Vistage event continued with presentations on technology for personal productivity from Dave Nelsen, president of Dialog Consulting Group, and a presentation on how to do business online right from Michal Lorenc, who leads Google’s sales and account management team serving Canadian advertisers out of Google’s Ann Arbor office.

Comments (6)
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