"Server or Cloud?" - Workshop at ELIA

Yesterday at the ELIA Networking Days in Athens I held a workshop called “Server or Cloud? That is the Question for LSPs Today”. The attendants were mostly owners or managers of translation companies. The workshop was great fun, mainly because of the lively interaction we had. - Attendants were divided into two groups: one pro-cloud, the other pro-server. A fierce debate errupted over what technology is better. I will at least give a summary of the main points we have arrived at:

  1. Cloud/Server definition:
    • Leaving aside all the technical aspects, we found the main differentiator is simply that of ownership and control. While a server solution one buys and then owns with all the benefits and drawbacks (e.g. maintenance), a cloud solution is simply consumed as a service.
  2. Cloud usage
    • The workshop participants noted that cloud technologies already got firmly established in our private lives (e.g. Gmail, LinkedIn, Facebook…). Its adoption for business purposes may be a little slower, starting perhaps with translation project management software and only then happening in the CAT tool domain.
  3. What’s the trend?
    • Without pushing my personal opinion, the participants unanimously acknowledged that the future is in the cloud (what a surprise…). However, the transition from legacy server technologies will take some time. And as Alex from Words at Work noted, it will not be always easy to reconcile some very traditional aspects of the translation industry (e.g. scanned faxes for translation - yes, it still exists) with the newest technologies.

Have a look at a nice summary of the workshop from the CEO of Cetra, Jiri Stejskal.