This is the 3 part of a series of Articles entitled ‘What is the Cloud’ talking about the various aspects of the Software as a Service element of the Cloud.  The Previous Articles can be found at


What is the Cloud – Part 1 the Basics
What is the Cloud – Part 2 Security and Privacy


Software as a Service AKA The Cloud or Cloud Computing is a relatively new set of services as far as technology is concerned, its broadening range of services ramped up at the same time that smart phones and mobility became popular.  They have therefore lived a symbiotic relationship, neither would have been successful without the other. The Smartphones/Tablets lack of on board resources such as processing power and storage meant that Application Developers had to look to powerful computers held in the Cloud to do the hard work and storage.  Without the Cloud, your mobile email, calendars and contacts would not be kept in sync with the office, you would not be able to review and edit documents in the coffee shop or check on the latest dealings you have had with a client on your CRM system between meetings, or make that Skype Video call to confirm your meeting, even Siri (the iPhone voice assistance) would not work without the Cloud at its beck and call.  I admit the size of Smartphones and Tablets can make it difficult to work whilst mobile and I would be the last person to suggest you could work entirely desk free but seen as an extension of your usual workplace mobility is a killer app itself.  One person who has taken this to heart is Mike Elgan admittedly he is a tech blogger/writer which makes it easier to be mobile whilst working but he and his wife have packed their lives into a bag and now work from anywhere they want to work, currently Sparti in Greece.


But Mobility brings its own challenge, or used to!!.  As well as security the issue with always requiring a connection to the internet for Cloud Apps has been a deal breaker for people.  I admit trying to keep an always on connection with a Smartphone (or even with normal broadband connection via BT) is hard around where I work and play, and what about long flights!!, several years ago this was a problem but not so much today, if you choose your Cloud Apps and solutions correctly you can always have your most recent stuff with you, worst case scenario is that you need to sync before you disconnect.  Here is what my cloud app solution looks like.


What Who At the Office (on PC/Tablet) Mobile (Online using Smartphone/Tablet) Mobile (Offline using Smartphone/Tablet)
Files and Folders Dropbox Constantly Syncing Access the mobile app for any file I choose Access the App for any file I had previously sync’d.
Files and Folders Google Apps For Business Constantly Syncing/Working Online Access the mobile app for any file I choose Access the App for any file I had previously sync’d.
Email/Calendar/Contacts Google Apps for Business Constantly Syncing Constantly Syncing to Mobile Apps As good as the last sync
CRM Zoho/Capsule Access via Browser Syncs as you open mobile app As good as the last Sync
Accounting Wave Access via Browser Access via Mobile Browser No Access
Blogging WordPress Access via Browser Syncs as you open mobile app As good as the last Sync

In addition, those apps that allow me to work offline are doing so in exactly the same way I would online. I can create, edit and delete content and next time I get an internet connection it will sync the changes plus any made by my colleagues whilst I was offline.  This even trumps a traditional system where you are saving to a network server, loose connection to that, you have no access to your documents and the one you are working on will need to be saved locally and later added, if you remember.


So the Cloud gives me the ability to be mobile much more than any other system I could implement at the same cost and the fact that the majority of it works offline means I do not have to worry about an Internet connection. I am still happy!!!.


Previous What is the Cloud – Part 3 Mobile and Always On

Next What is the Cloud – Part 4 – does it cost more?