Cloud computing is the hot topic of the decade, yet it has been surprisingly slow to catch on. Its modest title may give you the impression that it’s some far off distant technology, but the cloud has already been incorporated into most of the top branded companies you know, from traditional storage services like iCloud, Gmail and Dropbox, to video services like YouTube and Netflix – even social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
Without even realising it, nearly anyone who has ever used the internet has used cloud technology in some way. With every step, the cloud is revolutionising data storage, which makes data seem infinitely more exciting than it used to be. What is cloud technology exactly, and why does it mean you may never lose a file again?
All Your Files Are Safe
Our greatest fear is not losing or breaking our phones: it’s losing the data on them. We can sync our mobiles to our computers and manually backup onto hard drives – or we can use the cloud and never worry about syncing again.
Using cloud technology means that all your files, photos, videos and other data are automatically copied onto a global storage space managed by your cloud provider. You don’t have to worry about forgetting to upload your files onto a USB last week before your computer crashed, or forgetting to bring relevant files to a company meeting.
It’s all there in the cloud: universal data storage that employees can use to share, edit, play and store data. What more, because cloud technology backs up data off-site, there’s a decreased risk in security breaches like hackers or viruses, and all folders or accounts can be securely encrypted. It’s the safest, yet most public and globalised storage technology yet. Delete a file on your phone by mistake? No problem. Most cloud service providers can not only store files but also recover them instantaneously.
Storing and Sharing Data Efficiently
Having this centralised storage system is incredibly efficient and low-cost. Not only will it save you money from buying a multitude of increasingly expensive storage and sharing applications, but often its pay-as-you-go options mean that your business isn’t bound to long-term contracts and you can pay for exactly how much space you need. Unlike a USB or external hard drive, the cloud’s greatest function is its elastic scalability: need more space? Just buy more storage. The cloud shrinks and expands without limitation.
What’s more, outsourcing your storage to a trusted cloud provider means you never need worry about updating individual computers and systems again. This saves a lot of money and manpower in hardware, power and IT support and, as a bonus, is naturally being more green and economical.
Of course, the most important reason to use cloud technology is that it will drastically improve communication: communication between employees, managers and clients alike. No more fumbling around with impossibly large files and confusing clients with FTP and missing mail attachments. Backup everything with ease and access it anywhere. An advantage to this is that small businesses are increasingly using cloud computing to wield a mobile workforce that can expand its reach outside limited office workspace.
The Benefits of an Evolving Technology
Because cloud computing is still relatively new, there are still many functions that are still constantly improving. Nevertheless, it is undoubtedly the storage technology of the future. Hopping on the bandwagon now will not only help you invest in the convenience of the present, but the evolution of the future. Incorporate cloud technology into your business and it will streamline workflow and centralise accessibility so that in the future, your company will be ready for exciting cloud innovations.
The cloud is not just revolutionising the face of data storage, but also the very nature of computing itself. It means that company policies and information are more transparent and accountable, and it means that small and medium businesses can equip themselves with the technology needed to expand and compete globally in their industry sectors.
Cloud technology means you may never lose a file again, but that’s simply a great advantage to a system that is cut out for a whole lot more.
How have you used the cloud, and what has it done for you? Share in the comments below.
About the Author: Joey Phinn is a freelance writer, blogger and self-professed technology geek. She recommends cloud communication provider NewVoiceMedia.