Why Apple’s iCloud isn’t the answer for your business

The iCloud is another brilliant idea from Apple. However, it isn’t a real cloud computing, storage or backup solution for business.

The fundamental premise of the iCloud sounds brilliant; it’s a method of storing your music, photos, apps, calendars and documents so they are always accessible from any of your iPads, iPhones, Macs, PCs and compatible iPods. What’s not to like?

However, take a second to think about what I’ve just said. iCloud is cloud based online storage and synchronisation for all of your documents. From a business point of view, the calendar, document and photo functions are the ones you will need.

The music functionality might be great for personal use but it’s unimportant for work. So, when you take away the iTunes integration, iCloud is not unlike plain, old online storage or backup; it just has a snazzy ‘i’ at the start of the name.

A crucial drawback for business is that the other documents iCloud backs up have to have been created with an Apple app or a third party app that are iCloud compatible. Think for a moment how many documents your business creates using an App, rather than Microsoft Office or other enterprise management software. Not many I’m willing to guess.

Finally, while there is no publicised limit on how many devices can be incorporated into an iCloud network, I’m reasonably certain that this limit is either in the small print or Apple will have to create one in the future.

So, if you were thinking of linking together your thirty office machines using iCloud, I don’t think your idea will be future-proofed. Why? Because if you can do that, what’s to stop thirty teenagers linking their iPods together so that they can illegally share their entire music collections?

Ultimately, my view of iCloud is that it’s great for what it’s supposed to be – a tool for linking your personal life together across all of your devices. From a business point of view, it doesn’t offer any advantages over traditional online or cloud based backup and it does present a few disadvantages. So, if you want easy access to all your data, choose a business purposed backup service.

Dominic Jones is managing director of IT support provider Barton Technology. Established in April 2000, Barton Technology is a privately owned company with a proven approach which is quality driven, thorough and extraordinarily successful. From their headquarters in South London, they specialise in providing IT support and business telephone services to customers in the construction, not for profit, retail, finance, legal and insurance SME sectors and who are located in London, Surrey and Kent.