Hey, You – Get off of my Cloud

Rarely have I come across a technical situation where I felt that Mick Jagger had expressed the best advice, but there it is.

This week, after my last posts, I had several inquiries from people over how I thought the widespread use of “cloud-based computing” would change things for us – and what changes WE should make in order to make better use of it.

The biggest change, of course, involves where data is stored (on the internet) and WHO stores it, with who stores it being the most important change to day to day life.

Ten years ago, I started asking people to stop sending me printed material, and to start sending me information electronically – drawing files, PDF literature, and spreadsheets were more useful to me than a ton of paper.

Ten years later, two things have happened. First, the size of those data files is much larger than it used to be, and they change more often. The second change is the devices I access that information with being lighter in weight – net books, iPads and other tablets, and even smart phones. These devices are not only more limited in storage, I also get way too much electronic literature and data to use effectively.

For the “cloud” to work, STOP sending me all those attachments. Instead, send me links to where I can use them on the net. I don’t WANT them on my system, and no longer want to be responsible for making sure I have the latest version. Electronic catalogs, drawings, and testimonials have become the equivalent of spam, and I don’t want to store them any more. And now that I retrieve them in the field, and pay for the bandwidth, I don’t want to download them until I need the information that’s in them.

PLEASE stop filling my email basket with your product specials of the week, update number 19 of your tech bulletin, or your latest 200 page catalog. Instead, keep a constantly updated version on the web, and send me email with a link to it. That way, we are BOTH sure I’m using the latest version.

I know its a change – but, folks, your PDFs are becoming spam. And if you want to work with today’s field tech, learn to host these documents rather than sending them out.