What’s the difference? Remote. Telecommute. Cloud. Virtual. Terms that are used interchangeably but don’t really mean the same thing. Here’s what I mean:
Remote working/remote access: With the use of the internet or software, I use my computer to access your computer from my location. I am actually controlling your computer remotely from my location. Some remote access providers include: LogMeIn, GoToAssist/GoToMyPC, Join.Me, Mikogo
- Pros: Relatively inexpensive to implement (some also have free versions – like Join.Me or Mikogo)
- Cons: ties up your clients’ computer/resources while you do the work; can create unexpected computing errors; limited to the time/schedule of the client (someone has to activate the remote session), sometime there’s considerable lag-time (time between you clicking the mouse and see the result on the screen)
Virtual working/virtual access: With the use of the internet and the cloud, instead of being located on your client’s desktop, files are located on remote server (not to be confused with remote access/working above). In this scenario, both my client and I can access the same file(s)…for example their QuickBooks file, at the same time.
- Pros: Frees up resources (any time/any where access from any computer with Internet access); no scheduling conflicts; not as much lag time (response depends on your Internet connection/speed); Cost is relatively inexpensive/comparable to that of remote access pricing plans; added layer for emergency backup/data recovery
- Cons: can be a little too “techy” for some
Want another take on Remote Versus Virtual (Cloud)… check out this piece on AccountingWeb.com by Kara Haas >>Remote vs. Cloud: The perks of working with clients in cyberspace.