The current trend in software is “The Cloud“. Maybe you’ve heard of it? What does it mean for bone density providers? In this posting, we’ll provide an overview of the cloud. Future postings will assume this very basic understanding of The Cloud.
In short, The Cloud reflects storing of data on the Internet. Some examples are online banking and email (such as gmail). In these cases, the checking and savings account info and email may not reside on your PC. Instead, the data is on a “server” somewhere out on the internet (“The Cloud”).
Access to data is typically provided through an application that is usually a web browser, but not always. For example, banks typically provide a web based application to log in and manage checking and savings accounts. Google provides email access through http://www.gmail.com. You may also access gmail through an email client, such as Thunderbird or Outlook. Mobile access to your email is via a phone app.
In understanding cloud-based computing, it may be useful to contrast it with the old way of doing things – desktop computing. With desktop applications, one worked in a more isolated manner, on a PC. Data is stored in files on the PC’s hard drive. While it is possible to share and collaborate with others, it requires more work than cloud based applications.
In terms of business applications, including bone density practices, cloud based applications are likely to be classified as “enterprise class” applications. Enterprise class applications are characterized by making entire teams work better and more efficiently.
- Information is more easily shared among team members
- A workflow can be instituted which improves team efficiency and reduces errors
- Data is robust, it is backed up