Why Cloud Computing?

The PlaneDollars portal login screen.

One of the most common questions we are asked is why our aviation accounting software is designed to be a cloud-based subscription service.  By “cloud-based” we mean that all of the data associated with the application is stored remotely in large data centers and users access the system through their web browsers (such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer).  Many aircraft owners currently keep their records on their own computers using spreadsheets, folders, and home-grown databases.  So what are the advantages of “the cloud” over files on a local computer?

  • If the file resides on one computer, all of the necessary users may not have physical access to that computer when they need it.  With a cloud system, users log in from their own computers from any place where they have internet access.  They can even use their smart phone or tablet.  Finally, each user can be restricted to view and edit only the types of data necessary to perform their duties.
  • Lacking physical access, email is often used to share the data among users.  With many emailed copies, users may unwittingly have incomplete or out-of-date information.  All of those copies in various email accounts can create security risks.  With a cloud system, users log in and see the most up-to-date information seamlessly, and there are no uncontrolled copies floating around.
  • A personal computer may break, get lost, or even worse get stolen with sensitive information.  PlaneDollars aircraft records management software is built upon the industry-leading platforms Heroku and Amazon Web Services.  We automatically get the benefits of their security mechanisms (including encrypted connections), automatic backups, and redundant data centers to combat against physical failures.

Because of these advantages, the overwhelming trend in the IT Departments of major companies across the country is to switch to cloud computing.  Centralized computing resources are more accessible, more stable, and more thoroughly protected than the typical individually-owned laptop or PC.