How many thumb drives have you lost? How many SD cards have you misplaced? How many computers have you had crash or cell phones lost with data you can’t get back? For me, there are too many to count. I have even managed to accidentally flush a thumb drive down the toilet (I forgot it was in my back pocket, and it fell out without me realizing it until it was too late).
With our world bursting at the seams with technology and electronic data, is there a safe place we can store it all instead of carrying it around on easily broken and misplaced devices? The answer is yes, and it’s called The Cloud. Don’t be overwhelmed by the idea of Cloud Computing. It is actually pretty simple and very convenient, not only for individuals but for businesses as well.
What is The Cloud?
Basically, “The Cloud” is the internet. When you store documents to “The Cloud” you are saving them to a network of servers that are accessed over the internet. This means that anything you save to the Cloud can be retrieved as long as you have a connection. No need for USB cords to sync devices, small, easily lost storage devices, or even your specific computer.
Why Should You Use The Cloud?
Put simply, it will make your life easier. Convenient and user friendly, many cloud programs makes it possible to maintain your electronic data, retrieve documents, and share with approved people. Here are the top reasons you need to be using the Cloud.
Protect Your Data
By saving documents and files to the Cloud, you can backup all of your files and easily recover documents. If you store all of your documents and photos on one device without any kind of backup storage or recovery plan, you could potentially lose it all if your device is destroyed or goes missing. (I knocked a pop over on a friend’s laptop and fried the hard drive effectively destroying everything that was on the computer. I also had a dog eat one of my SD cards, and I lost all of my vacation pictures. The Cloud could have saved me in both those instances!)
With all of your documents saved on the cloud, you can access it anywhere and anytime in the world with internet access. You can use any device to access your information which means you don’t have to lug around your laptop – any device that can connect to the internet will provide you access. You won’t have to worry about bringing files, laptops, or flash drives while traveling. This also means if you run out of storage on your camera during a beautiful getaway, you can upload your photos to the Cloud and make room for more pictures.
You can create a document and allow multiple people to view or even edit it at the same time. No more emails with attachments. It is all located in one place, and you get to choose who can see the files. Some companies like Google have even announced that they will encrypt data for paid storage users in order to ease worry about unwanted access. This also means that when you get that phone call from one of your kids asking you to bring a copy of the report they forgot, you can remind them that it is saved on the Cloud! Right from school they can find their report and print it out.
Time and Cost Efficient
By using the Cloud, you don’t have to worry about buying hardware or paying to maintain it. You can sign up to use the Cloud and immediately start using it. You can also easily choose the amount of needed storage and pay accordingly.
Business In The Cloud
The Cloud is particularly appealing especially to small businesses because it provides all the services of email servers and networks without the associated costs such as maintenance, tech workers or the depreciation of the purchased hardware. Most startup or smaller businesses cannot afford to buy the best software and keep experts on payroll to troubleshoot, but with the Cloud these businesses can have access to some of the most advanced software and hardware available. Business partners, employees, and even customers can work together with ease from anywhere in the world.
However, business versus everyday consumer Cloud usage is a little different. Businesses have a few different kinds of options offered by companies like amcom that offer Cloud computing solutions. They can use the Internet to access an application for which they have subscribed to which is called Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Businesses can also use a service to create its own specific application known as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). Then, there are large companies such as Amazon and Google that allow other companies to pay for using their Cloud for a service known as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). Why? In a nutshell, storage is relatively easy and flexible with these services and lends to faster networking and connectivity. (ie reducing slow downs or crashing of websites)
So condense your files, shed those storage devices, and create your own space in the Cloud – it could make your life a whole lot easier.