Cloud vs Client Server…Or Relying On Your ISP

I have worked in agencies and in-house marketing departments at a time when things weren’t going well. Unimaginable, I know.

Nobody knew where anything was. Projects late or over budget, or more commonly – both. The blame game. Endless complaining to partners, VPs, each other.

So we looked for ways to fix the problem. That’s where I came in. Figure it out. Find a solution. Implement it. Take the blame – thankyouverymuch.

In the early days, we didn’t have the Cloud, but we did have an intranet. So we usually built a system for opening jobs, preparing budgets and schedules, and shared access – usually using FileMaker Pro, FoxPro, or some database program that someone customized. A proprietary system. Oy.

Later came the designed-for-agencies software like Advantage, Creative Manager Pro and others.

Then came Cloud offerings. Then came apps. The evolution of Agency Management Tools in a nutshell.

Advantage and CMP (now Workamajig) now offer Cloud Versions of their software. Nice because you don’t need to invest in hardware or software upgrades (well, Windows 95® won’t do) and you can access it from anywhere your privileges allow.

Then there’s BaseCamp, which many think is an agency management solution. Nope. It’s a collaborative tool. And yes, you can buy all kinds of apps that will link. And if you want to manage your agency in bits and pieces, Be My Guest. Good luck with that.

Cloud is great.

But a couple weeks ago, my internet service provider, CenturyLink, had a 22-state outage. That meant, had I needed to access my agency data, I was S.O.L. The very nice person I spoke to at CenturyLink Customer Service said they were ‘working on the problem’ and ‘didn’t have an ETA on repair’. When I say she was nice, I mean it. Super friendly and super busy. Props for Good Customer Service.

By the way I live in Nevada. My daughter, in Medford, Oregon works in a supermarket. Their entire POS system was down during the outage. Imagine not being able to use your debit card for milk, eggs and Cherios®.


Most of us seldom lose internet service. But when we do, everything comes to a grinding halt. And it wreaks havoc. Everyone pops up – Hey, can you get on the internet? Try a different browser. Click, Click, Click.

I know this is how we do business now, but do give thoughtful consideration when investing in, and relying upon Cloud solutions to run your agency. Well, heck, this goes for any business.

Your source, whether it’s enterprise or an app, may rarely be down, but everything else in-between is vulnerable.

We are living and dying by the data we can gather and share immediately. When going to the Cloud, consider your provider, speed, and security.

No, this isn't an episode of Doomsday Preppers.

Now, where’s my typewriter and carbon paper.