Cloud Technology: Blending of work, personal lives

October 9, 2012
Issue 6

The power the Cloud brings to our daily life is actually quite understated. Yes, the excitement is great -- but the reality is even greater. What we are seeing is the intersection and synergy of societal trends magnified by technological forces that enhance those societal trends.

The power the Cloud brings to our daily life is actually quite understated. Yes, the excitement is great -- but the reality is even greater. What we are seeing is the intersection and synergy of societal trends magnified by technological forces that enhance those societal trends.

At home, high tech is the norm. From online bill pay, to smartphones and wireless technology, our lives are connected, customizable and efficient. With so much obvious value and efficiency in our personal lives, it makes sense to incorporate some of the same trends and technology into the professional sphere.

We talked with dental professionals who have already put the latest technologies to work in their practices, specifically the Cloud.

CAESY Cloud

CAESY Cloud offers instant access to more than 280 multimedia presentations and access to patient education resources from multiple locations within the practice. New videos and features are posted frequently and seamlessly through the cloud. No installation and no network connections between participating computers are required. It is PC and Mac compatible, including iPads, iPods, iPhones and smartphones. The newest version, CAESY Cloud 1.2, gives practices the ability to embed CAESY presentations within their website(s), allowing professionals to better promote their services and demonstrate their commitment to educating patients.

Patterson Dental's Technology Marketing Manager Jana Berghoff explains how the CAESY Cloud benefits dental practices.

Curve Dental

According to Dr. Mark Colonna, he tried Apple’s iCloud and he was hooked.

"I asked myself, 'Is there a dental practice solution for the cloud?'," said Colonna. "After some research, I found Curve Dental." "After a phone call I received information that explained in detail the bonuses that come with cloud computing. In addition to the potential to save money, I also enjoy being able to access my schedule, charts, prescription notes, and everything else from anywhere in the world at any time. That was attractive to me as I am on the road quite a bit lecturing on laser dentistry and other new technologies; having convenient, flexible access to patient data is very important to me."

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SugarSync CEO Laura Yecies provides three societal trends that put the Cloud at the forefront of where our professional and personal lives come together.

Mobility - One of the most important of those trends is mobility. Business is more global. Families are increasingly scattered around the planet. We are increasingly on the move visiting customers, factories and families. Yet, we still need to get work done as if we are in our traditional offices, and we want to stay in touch with our loved ones at home while visiting the ones far away. The Cloud keeps us connected. Collaborating on sets of documents when on the road, sending large but critical files via Web links and automatically uploading photos and videos from our devices -- the Cloud keeps us productive and in-touch while on the road. The Cloud helps achieve the true potential of today's smartphones and tablets, and as a result, makes us all more productive on the go.

Blending of Work and Personal Lives - The second key trend is the intermingling of our work and personal lives. It's difficult to remember a time when leaving the office meant leaving your work behind for the day. Working on a key project into the evening from home, continuing to collaborate with coworkers, being available for calls with colleagues in different time zones -- that is now the norm. Similarly, checking into email or a file notification on our mobile devices while away from the office at a child's soccer game is part of our new lifestyle. While we may feel at times that work is intruding into our personal time, the fact that we can be professionally productive from anywhere, anytime, allows us to be more available to our families and friends. The soccer game cannot move its time and place to fit my work schedule, but the Cloud allows me to do my work anytime and anywhere. While the energy of interfacing together in the office is important to many organizations (including SugarSync), it's a relief knowing that, at any given moment on any given project, there is almost nothing I cannot do offsite as long as I have access to my information via the Cloud.

The Rise of the Virtual Company - The third trend driving the Cloud is the rise of small business and growth of "virtual" companies. One of the great things about the Cloud is that, for the price of an office lunch, a small business can have access to collaboration, mobile access and backup up technologies that previously only large corporations with IT departments could manage and afford. Just as Web mail replaced the need for an on-premise Exchange server, technologies such as SugarSync allow a business person to have all the benefits of Sharepoint, FTP, online backup and more for as little as $5 a month. The effectiveness of Cloud collaboration makes it easy for consultants and other professionals to band together in virtual firms. For example, one SugarSync customer -- a translation company -- has interpreters in over a dozen countries collaborating on projects and acting as a unified organization leveraging real-time Cloud synchronization and collaboration.

All three of these trends are clearly self-reinforcing. Our ever-increasing mobility drives the demand for the Cloud, while the Cloud allows us to be more productive while mobile. Our work and personal lives are blending, and the Cloud helps us manage this new paradigm by enabling us to work from anywhere, and on any schedule. Cloud technologies allow small businesses to be more efficient and grow, just as the small businesses that are leading our country's growth are driving growth in Cloud.

When a technology gets tied up inextricably in powerful trends like this, that technology becomes core to our lives. And when a technology embeds itself in our lives, it thus achieves both staying power and profit potential. So even with the increased attention that Cloud technology has received this year, the impact that the Cloud currently has on our lives -- and the impact it will have as adoption continues to skyrocket -- is still considerably under-hyped.

Given the important role of the Cloud in our daily lives, the selection of a Cloud service is of critical importance. Features and performance are table stakes. As users, we need to consider the providers' track record on security and cross-platform availability. Is providing an excellent Cloud service the focus of the company, or is it simply a means to some other business ends?

For the full article, check it out over at the Huffington Post.