May10

Cloud Solutions: Fit for Freelancers?

Freelancer using laptopFreelancers usually pride themselves on extremely economical running costs and by making use of a telephone, a laptop and often some clever software, the returns on capital invested for freelancers can be massive. With that often comes a reluctance to invest too much capital in business assets and things like expensive IT networks, office space and one-off operating expenses are usually off the agenda.

However, for freelancers, time really is money and profits are directly related to what percentage of time be charged to clients and how much it can be charged for. This means that an up-to-date and streamlined computer system is essential for almost every freelancer. However, despite the obvious benefits in terms of speed and efficiency, many freelancers still don’t tap into the power of cloud hosting.

It’s a myth that cloud computing is only for big business; the term covers a massive number of potential services, from data storage to remote software hosting, areas where many freelancers find themselves needing to invest in big, powerful laptops with large memories or spreading themselves over external hard-drives to keep up.

With the introduction of the solid state drive into lots of new ultra-portable laptops, however, the trade off between cost, portability and disk space becomes even more pertinent. For freelancers who often need the mobility of a light and speedy laptop, hosting data on the cloud is an ideal solution, meaning they can keep their laptop clutter free and need not invest in large SSD or hard drives which, of course, need to be carried around.

Equally, with many software firms starting to move their offerings to subscription based ‘service’ formats, the idea that one can simply install software and forget about it seems cumbersome for freelancers. The potential to subscribe, via the cloud, to a month of software at a time, accessible whenever required is a massive plus and can offer the sort of mobility and flexibility that can really keep costs down.

It’s not true that cloud computing isn’t for the freelancer and, in fact, freelancers very often see the very direct benefits of cloud computing hitting the bottom line long before large companies. For the freelancer of the future, it will be about keeping personal computing very minimal and letting the cloud carry the data, stream the software and do the computing work all by itself.

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