In November, Propared took a little jaunt out to Las Vegas for LDI, a large convention showcasing advancements in technology across the entertainment industry. Over the weekend we saw some great progress in lighting, rigging, and safety. However, when we looked at software (particularly software designed to help managers such as inventory tracking or event planning) we couldn’t help but feel a little disappointed.
While many hardware products are advancing quickly, few software products are taking advantage of advancements in cloud computing and mobile devices that hold incredible opportunities for our industry. At Propared, we are particularly interested in what cloud computing could add to our industry across the technological spectrum.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing has a variety of uses and connotations these days. It’s a concept that we often take for granted. In a nutshell, any time you expect information to appear on more than one device (computer, tablet, phone, etc) you are using cloud computing.
A central server stores all the information for every person. Individual users are given access to data associated with their specific account. With everyone connected to the same platform we open up the potential to connect with other users to communicate and exchange information. Today, nearly every program we run utilizes cloud computing including Dropbox, Evernote, GoogleDocs, Facebook, Twitter, and countless others.
3 reasons why cloud computing is ideal for our lives as event managers.
It’s cheaper. There is virtually no infrastructure required. Cloud services are operated and maintained by the creator of the product. This means theater and production companies and freelancers don’t have to invest in expensive hardware or software. As late as just a few years ago, this was not the case. Any piece of collaborative software required expensive server infrastructure, additional software, and IT personnel to make sure it continued to operate as intended. Money savings!
It’s mobile. We are a mobile industry. Whether traveling across the country or between site visits, we as an industry spend relatively small amounts of time behind our desks. By storing information in the cloud, we are able to access it no matter where we are and what we are doing. Smartly designed programs allow us to interact with that information in real time rather than having to say “It’s on my computer at the office, I’ll have to get back to you on that.” or jot notes down on notes only to have to re-type them when we get back that evening. Time savings!
It connects us. Cloud computing allows lots of people to work on the same document or project at the same time. Think about how much easier and faster it is for three people to work together to write a document using google docs rather than each person emailing revisions to the group. How cool would it be for the Production Manager, Assistant Production Manager, and Producer to build the the production schedule simultaneously with no worries about working on the wrong version? There is only one version. Collaboration!
Cloud computing connects us to others and eases our jobs in ways have never before been possible. Suddenly the entire industry is at our fingertips. We hope to see our industry continue to push itself and advance on all levels, and we thoroughly look forward to being able to share Propared with everyone at LDI next year.