If there’s one tried-and-true way to tackle a problem, it’s to make it someone else’s problem. It’s the strategy that’s given us plumbers, fluff-and-fold laundry and lawn services. Yet for a long time, corporate computing didn’t really lend itself to the pass-the-predicament model. Sure, you could hire consultants to troubleshoot your hardware, patch your software and get all the PCs and servers talking to one another. But at the end of the day, it was your system — and your headache.
Delegators take note: The times are changing. An increasingly popular software model tries to make things simple by — get this — literally making things simple. Known as Software as a Service or cloud computing, the idea boils down to this: Instead of running an application yourself, using your own equipment and IT staff (not to mention exhausting most of your patience), you let the vendor host it and deal with the nuisance of keeping the whole thing running. Programs are accessed over the Internet, so you can use them on any PC, from any location. No matter that you’re in a Boston airport and your data is in a Nebraska bunker. You’re good to go — and work.
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