Translation Cloud: Why Your Company Needs to Get on It

Companies are moving to the cloud, and quickly. As noted by Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst, “Cloud adoption is happening faster than people thought it would happen in the enterprise.” Why? Because there are a number of key benefits in virtualizing business data, including streamlined processes, reduced IT spend on infrastructure, and additional resource flexibility.

Ultimately, by moving a portion of your computing services offsite and freeing up local stacks for other tasks, both time gains and cost savings await you.

And maturing cloud services have also prompted specialization: opting for a translation cloud is now a viable way to ensure topnotch globalization and localization efforts. Here’s how it works.

More Data, Same Space

The biggest effect of taking your translation to the cloud is in storage efficiency. All of your content occupies the same space—and doesn’t bog down internal servers. This shared residency allows you to tap every piece of content you’ve ever produced for use in future projects. Consider the “boilerplate” text at the bottom of any press release: why translate this again and again when you’ve already paid a professional to do the job? Or, consider the benefit of finding translation matches for new content in pieces that have already been published: you can still spend on human translators but significantly reduce the total cost.

Better yet? By opting for the cloud, every patch, update, and new feature is pushed out on-demand, meaning you don’t need to take the system offline during an upgrade or reinstallation. Ideally, the best translation cloud vendors produce 99.99 percent or better uptime, along with security protocols that meet PCI DSS Level 1, SSAE 16 SOC 2, and HIPAA standards.

Global Initiative

Of course, choosing the cloud only delivers these advantages if your provider offers a truly global network. Here’s where a translation proxy comes in. This multilingual content delivery network can handle your highest bandwidth demands and can pull content from the closest server available on demand, rather than always routing traffic through a North American facility. With consumers seldom forgiving of time delays—especially on mobile devices—this kind of locally sourced content is essential.

What’s more, a translation cloud will keep pace with your source-language website, detect changes in content, push it for translation, and then publish the target language content to your localized sites. And if there’s no new content available, the cloud intelligently pulls your last-known approved piece as a placeholder, then automatically detects when translation professionals have completed new work.

Evaluating Your Options

When it comes to choosing a translation cloud provider, it’s worth dissecting your options. The popularity of cloud computing has led many vendors to jump on the bandwagon and claim their on-premises products are actually “cloud-based,” when in fact you’re paying for the same service under a different name. If you’re required to install large amounts of software locally, or if your vendor can’t scale on demand to meet your needs, they’re putting lipstick on a pig and hoping you don’t notice. True clouds offer daily, automatic updates, scalable resources, and the ability to access content from any device at any time.

Be sure to ask who owns your content, as well. Legacy vendors attempting to cash in on cloud hype often claim that translation database files are their property, or try to charge you for the privilege of using your own data. Legitimate cloud translation models, however, consider all historic content ready to access and owned by your company at all times. When you need it again to inform new content, search for partial matches, or empower translators, it’s always available. Lastly, the right cloud solution comes with built-in translation tools—like a style guide and glossary—to streamline your next project.

Image source: BigStock

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About Doug Bonderud

Doug Bonderud is a freelance technology writer with a passion for telling great stories about unique brands. For the past five years, he's covered everything from cloud computing to home automation and IT security. He speaks some French, is fluent in Ancient Greek and a master of Canadian English — and yes, colour needs a 'u'.