Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cloud Computing – Is It Really the Wave of the Future?


What is the cloud, you ask?

Well, if you have a basic email account (Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, etc) then you’re already making usage of that thing called “the cloud”. Cloud computing, in a nutshell, is when your personal data is stored on an external server, as opposed to on your own computer. Other than possible security concerns, there aren’t any downsides to usage of cloud computing.

Okay, so you can store your data, safe and secure, outside of your computer. But what’s the big deal about that?

With many services, that data is accessible from other places as well via the internet. For instance, say you start working on a presentation for work or school, and suddenly, your computer turns off. Power outage, empty battery, or the machine simply blowing up are all options. However, whenever you get back onto a computer- the same, or another- you can resume right from where you left off, because if you’re using a cloud-based application, chances are that it automatically saved your work at certain intervals. Your data might not fare as well on the off chance your computer doesn’t back up your work.

With something like Google Documents, working on something from any location isn’t the only benefit. Not by far. There’s also collaboration- you know, two or more people working on the same thing together, in real time? Yeah, with cloud-based applications, that suddenly becomes possible. And just like that, your productivity shoots up. For work, the cloud is better.

Working on things from anywhere, at any time- that’s called “location independency”. What I’m about to introduce to you is “platform independency”.

Computers (like, say, a PC or a Mac) are not the only things that can access cloud-based applications. Smartphones (Androids, iPhones, etc) also have this ability. And you know, it’s not just for work matters, either.

How about uploading your entire music collection to the cloud and using your mobile device to stream it from anywhere? How about adding your movie collection, and from there, watching them whenever you get bored? You want to be able to look at private albums stored on the cloud? Lo and behold, you can do that, too.

Cloud-based storage, cloud-based work- the future is going in one direction, and that just happens to be the little thing called “the cloud”. It holds your data, and it’s accessible from anywhere you have the appropriate device. There’s many services available for a low price and for free, even. Of course, personal physical storage is still useful, but in some ways, the cloud is just so much better for these things.

The cloud is even coming to something people previously didn’t believe possible- gaming. With OnLive and a steady internet connection, one can actually stream and play video games over the internet. Forget those long installation times, all that space being taken up on your drive! Of course, OnLive doesn’t support everything, and the cloud isn’t going to become the solitary source of personal storage- that’s just being delusional.

But the cloud is going to make your life much easier, that’s guaranteed.

So, is data in the cloud the personal data trend of the future?


About the Author

Ty is a writer on a variety of topics and he finds himself writing in the technology space quite often. You can find Ty writing on our blog occasionally or on other CRM and tech blogs.