WWW used to stand for the World Wide Web. Now it could easily be for the World Wide Website. A website used to be more localized, dependent on one or two servers with all its parts together. Now, it’s a fragmented entity with files stored on network of far flung servers that constitute a thing called The Cloud — and Web users love it.
Websites run faster. There are more documents, downloads, images and videos because server overload and crashes are reduced or non-existent. Plus, website owners, once they count all the dollars saved by having to buy less hardware and software, can pour more money into making their website creative, innovative and expansive. Businesses can give audiences more of the services and choices they request. This has changed our view of what a website is and how a website is limited. Essentially in the future, sites will be limitless, restrained not by infrastructure and resources but by the imaginations of owners and webmasters. The birth of cloud services has been revolutionary and has brought the digital world freedom.
Let’s look more closely at the fruits of this evolution.
What cloud services are available ?
Most people understand the idea of cloud storage, but might be unclear about the other specific types of cloud services that exist. According to industry magazine Cloud Times, the following are the four most sought-after cloud services:
Cloud applications are the reason many people are enticed into the cloud, particularly businesses who are trying to avoid buying licenses for expensive accounting, customer relations management or sales tracking software. These days businesses just subscribe with a cloud-based company so they can access such software from any place since it’s stored externally. Even laypeople are using cloud applications for ordinary things like word processing, spreadsheet creation, slideshows and music/ video enjoyment. Virtually every activity that used to drive one to the computer store in search of software last decade can be done conveniently and quickly by using cloud-based applications.
It’s a social world and the excited over the cloud is largely centered on how people can share information and complete projects together in real time, accessing the same files, same software, same databases at the same time. People in different locations can actually use cloud sites like Google Apps to create documents together– they can write in the document at the same time and edit each other. The potential for collaborative creativity among artists and ordinary people as well as productivity among business professionals increases exponentially because of this. This is a level of co-activity that was not possible before.
Web video and audio conferences, complete with real-time texting, emailing and document swapping, owe their existence to the cloud. People no longer have to buy video phones or other hardware and software to talk to relatives or business associates in different states or countries. Web-based communications that allow people to share a virtual presence with one another has become so easy and accessible, that it can be done on smartphones, laptops, TV screens or tablets — often with just an app.
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) rather than as equipment that you buy and own has become a popular benefit of cloud computing. This type of cloud computing includes servers for hosting, virtual desktops, security systems and backup/ recovery tools that were once bought separately by people and businesses. Now, there is no need to acquire hardware when you can simply hire vendors, such as IBM, Amazon, Bluelock or Logicworks to provide the equipment in virtual form.
Resources for Readers:
Read about the basics of cloud computing
Learn more about what Cloud software and services are available
About the Author: Lucy Wright works with companies who specialize in office signage. She regularly consults in both business and marketing related fields. When she’s not working she likes to train for her next 5k.