Developments within cloud computing have changed technology for the better. In 2015, we have unparalleled access to all kinds of information and services via the web – and thanks to the Cloud, we’re able to use virtually any device to find what we want in just a matter of minutes.
It’s humbling to think how much of an impact the Cloud has had on our everyday lives. In this article, we list 4 major ways that cloud technology has already transformed the way we work and play.
1. We can communicate faster than ever before
Keeping in touch and collaborating with others has never been easier. Whether through simply logging in to our social media accounts or using cloud communications tools (browser-based web conferencing platforms, for example), we can connect with anyone online in a matter of seconds, regardless of where they’re located.
Being able to communicate with others so quickly and easily has undoubtedly changed the way we view the world. Social sites like Twitter have turned everyday commentators into news reporters, providing a platform through which users from all backgrounds can share their voice and contribute to society on an international rather than just a local scale. Never before has there been such an overwhelming global consciousness and a real sense of ‘togetherness’, and it’s developments in web technology that have enabled us to reach out to others in this way.
But this kind of communication saturation brings challenges with it, too. People are now expected to stay connected at all times, bringing new challenges to businesses and building a society that’s never able to ‘switch off’.
2. We have access to data on demand
Want to have access to your own personal file library wherever you are, from any device? You can, thanks to the storage capabilities of the Cloud.
So much of your life is on your computer, but before cloud storage services entered the fold, you’d need to store all of your files on a central server, then make copies to other devices if you needed to view them elsewhere. If you edited, say, a Word document on your desktop computer, you’d then need to physically transfer the new file to your laptop to make sure you had the updated version.
This long-winded process seems undeniably ‘stone-age’ now that we’re all able to sync and manage our data in the Cloud. Important files, photos and videos can be accessed from multiple computers and devices as long as you have your logins to hand, and you can even choose to back up your files to make sure they don’t go missing if there’s an outage or a problem with the server.
3. We’ve become more mobile
Because users can log in to the Cloud from anywhere, the technology naturally lends itself to mobile devices. Smartphones and tablets offer a new window to web content and applications, and people have embraced the opportunity to work and play while they’re on the go.
Workers no longer need to remain glued to their office desks to finish that all-important client project; home users can take their files and media with them without painstakingly downloading or transferring what they need. Thanks to the Cloud, content can follow you wherever you go.
Vendors are frantically working on bringing better, more robust features to mobile users to catch up with the growing trend of mobile adoption. They are competing for the attention of those who have come to rely on their mobile for browsing and purchasing on the web. As a result, marketing and advertising processes have changed dramatically since the introduction of the Cloud, and companies are understanding the value of providing a consistent mobile experience for consumers.
4. We have greater control over our lifestyles
Cloud computing may be changing behaviours on a global scale, but cloud technology can also be used in acutely practical ways in our everyday lives. Think where we’d be without our seemingly endless lists of mobile apps, most of which are now powered by the Cloud – we’d struggle to check the weather and monitor our bank accounts, and if our data wasn’t available online, we’d lose our progress on Angry Birds every time we rebooted our phone (imagine!).
As another example, utility companies are developing cloud-based home control applications that allow people to monitor and adjust their gas and electricity systems remotely, allowing for smarter energy management (take a look at British Gas’ Smart Meter upgrade initiative to see how this technology is being rolled out to the masses).
They’re arguably one of the most useful inventions in recent times, and satellite navigation systems are becoming increasingly cloud-based, too, in order to bring more accurate travel information to users without the hassle of downloading up to date maps.
Clearly, the Cloud has had a more significant impact on our day to day living than anyone could have predicted. With many more exciting developments soon to be launched within the cloud-sphere, we’re looking forward to seeing how cloud computing is going to continue to shape our lives in the decades to come!
Gary Gould is the Co-Founder of Compare Cloudware, one of the leading cloudware comparisons websites. Gary wants to help small business owners and start-ups to enter the world of cloud computing that will help them grow, including cloud-based financial tools, project management and CRM.