Design and the Cloud

Part of me thinks I might be a bit late to this party. But there’s a couple of new cloud offerings from major players that I can’t stay quiet on it anymore. The obvious connection with this whole Internet of Things discussion is that the platforms that open in the cloud, the more opportunities there are for hardware to interact with said platforms

Let’s start with the well known. Between Google Apps, Basecamp, Dropbox, and several other of The Cloud’s low-hanging fruit the idea of working locally and storing virtually is common enough that it can be called main stream. When grandmothers start throwing around a brand’s name like I’ve heard Dropbox’s name use, you know it is no longer just in the domain of geeks.

I’ve been using solutions like Basecamp for several years now. The premise makes sense. I am still hoping for solutions that are well designed (sorry, Basecamp, you’re not)…but the aesthetics aside, they’re doing many things right. Like most, I still hiccup on the whole what-about-when-I’m-not-connected anxiety. Because, let’s face it, we’re not at the place where data is always accessible…or affordable. Data roaming charges for me when I go down into the States are ridiculous.

What I saw recently that really made sense was Adobe’s latest suite of software that’s available in the cloud. They call it the Creative Cloud. For a monthly subscription I can access ALL of their software. For the equivalent of roughly $300 per year I can produce content for all facets of my creative needs. Web, Graphic, Video, Photo Editing, and even Acrobat functionality all in one place. That’s just a smattering of what’s available, frankly. I was agog at the list of software that is now available to anyone, anywhere. The part I love about it, is that I am not bound by connectivity. I still download and install the software to my machine. I get all of my licensing, and a big chunk of data storage all virtual. I can have designers working on the other side of the planet and all the data is stored with revisions in place.

I read this morning that Autodesk is taking a very similar approach to their 3D CAD solutions. Being that Autodesk has a full suite of software that starts with Sketchbook Pro and runs through 3D CAD solutions, I can see a full productivity process being adopted under one license. If they could wrap in PCB layout into that mix…that could be killer.

I’m curious what other solutions are out there for the design and technology industries? I feel late to this party…but maybe I’m just in time.


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