What goes on the Internet stays on the Internet. How safe is it to upload and edit personal data on the web, really? We look at some pros and cons for translating in the cloud and try a glimpse into the future…
The advantages of accessing applications via Internet are quite clear to everyone: cloud applications run on all operating systems (Windows, Linux, and Mac OS) and from all locations (with Internet connection). This also means that all applications and data are accessible from every computer, always with the latest, up-to-date version. Thanks to web-servers, there is no need for extensive installation or maintenance. Moreover, all this is at no cost or very reasonably priced.
My Data = Your Data
Of course, it is advantageous to have access to your data from every mobile device from wherever you are currently located – but that also means: every other user in the cloud has the same possibility. The concept of collaboration is useful and effective, but it affects competition considerably and makes data theft quite easy. Even if unencrypted data transfers or storage are usually prohibited, providers can technically access all data located on their servers. So who knows where you will meet again in a few years – you and your data!
On the other hand, only when working in the cloud you really profit from large public translation memory data and can use statistical machine translation effectively. You might want to ask yourself: “Will I (or my customer) profit from cloud translation?” and at the same time: “Is it OK to send my (or my customers) data ‘up there’?”
All-Rounder or Poser?
From a functional point of view, cloud-based translation management environments are not (yet) close to their local siblings. Especially in the fields of project management, quality assurance and data management, local translation memory systems offer far more elaborate possibilities. For instance, the file type settings are more complex, the quality modules more sophisticated, terminology and TM data easier cleaned up, organized and attributed. Of course, the cloud is leading the way in the fields of workflow management, collaboration and integrated billing, since new solutions are arising with internet connectivity: every user has access to centralized resources, simultaneous processing is supported and many work steps can be automated or other systems easily integrated.
Exemplary scope of features cloud vs. local TMS
Dreams of the Future
There is no question, the trend of cloud translation will continue. Thanks to simple extensibility and steady enhancements, the possibilities in the cloud are getting more and more revolutionary and innovative. The connections will be more stable and robust. Alternative solutions such as private or hybrid clouds, PaaS or IaaS provide users with greater influence on the security of their data and the composition of applications. Big data, public translation memory, statistical machine translation – all this is hard to handle locally. In order to stay competitive, translators and customers alike have to consider translation in the cloud with all its applications and possibilities.
We think it is only a question of time until the cloud will resolve all existing doubts and skepticism. We are keeping an eye on it for you, staying up to date and up in the cloud.