Until recently, I thought that the ‘Cloud’ that everyone seems to be talking about was so called, as it was actually a kind of misty, ethereal mass of virtual information, floating around above our heads somewhere. In fact, the mighty ‘Cloud’ gets its name from the diagram used to explain the complex infrastructure contained within it. I happen to think that both explanations work, but describe it how you will, cloud based computing has revolutionised how we work, organise and communicate. It has simplified the operations for businesses and has put within reach for everyone, who has access to the internet, a wider range of programs and tools to use at a more affordable price that before. There are limitless ways that you can use Cloud technology; here are just three of its most fundamental applications.
Communication – Globalisation had lead to the necessity for easy international communication solutions. Costly calls made from landlines have now gone out of the window, replaced by VoIP. Not only has this made long distance calls easier but it has also enhanced the possibilities what you can do with whichever platform you choose to use. Now you can make and receive calls, as well as have functions such as auto dialer services, or even route calls to ensure callers speak to the right person. The added bonus of video calls is not to be under estimated as seeing the person with whom you are talking to creates a direct sense of intimacy and confidence, enhancing the users experience.
Storage - How many stories have we all heard about lost data thanks to corrupt disks, faulty equipment or stolen laptops? They used to be as common as stories about ‘the one that got away’ however, the cloud has reduced the likelihood of having to listen to these sad, familiar tales. Now you can store all of your documents, photos and data within a cloud based storage facility such as Dropbox, flickr or Google drive. This frees up your computer’s hard drive and helps to elevate the nagging ‘what if’ scenarios that can stop you sleeping at night. As long as you keep it up to date, even if the dreaded ‘what if’ becomes a ‘what now’, and you lose all of your information saved on your hard drive, memory sticks and computer, you will still have a secure back up. You will also be able to share stuff with anyone you want to give access to your files.
Software – Purchasing, downloading and installing programs to your computer is soon to become a thing of the past. The cloud has opened up a way for providers to supply customers with ever evolving products as soon as they go live on their platform. This new approach to using computer based tools is the perfect way to utilise fast moving, without the laborious task of downloading new software, which then clogs up your hard drive, and is then out of date two months later. Is has also created a dialog between the providers and their customers, which has in turn meant that companies can be more responsive and adaptable.