Long before conversation within business IT focused on migrating to the cloud, most people were already using some form of cloud computing on a daily basis.
For some reason, cloud computing within business comes across as an audacious, complex, daunting technology that many are skeptical and uncertain about implementing. While it does need to be taken seriously, it shouldn’t be overcomplicated. It can help to take time to stop and realize how you are already benefiting from cloud computing in your daily life.
These 5 examples bring “the cloud” back to earth and provide some clarity on how it's being put to use on a daily basis.
#1: Social Networking
If you're like 58% of adult Americans, you have a profile on the social networking giant Facebook. The information in your profile, the pictures loaded to your account and the conversations you have with online friends are all a result of cloud computing. This information isn't stored on a server in your home or kept on the hard drive of your device, but rather, is contained and supported by Facebook servers in remote locations around the world.
The only thing you need to access Facebook is an account and an Internet-capable device. You can log on to the website in a heartbeat, update your status, post new photos and chat with friends without having to worry about how those services are supported.
Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, Spotify and Pandora. If you can think of a website where you watch movies or listen to music, you've enjoyed the benefits of cloud computing, likely without even thinking about it. Much like social media, streaming a video from providers such as Hulu, Netflix and YouTube relies upon the cloud structure of those companies, not servers and IT equipment in your home.
You can access these streaming sites with a login name and password, stream videos, music or television shows, and then just sit back and relax.
#3: Web Email
Social media and entertainment sites are merely following in the well-established path of web email services. AOL, Yahoo! and Gmail have existed for years, in many cases at least a decade, before social media and entertainment sites utilized the cloud to deliver products and services to end users.
Every time you check your email, you are logging into a cloud service to access information stored elsewhere. Cloud services like Google and Yahoo! operate massive data centers around the globe that store all of the information from your email accounts. Each email you delete, archive or otherwise store in a folder within your account is secured, stored and maintained via the cloud.
#4: File Sharing Sites
File sharing is one of the fastest growing segments in consumer-based cloud computing. Mobile workforces require access to documents both at a desk in an office, and on the road via mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud and Office 365 allow users to upload files to a network that are accessible everywhere by coworkers and team members.
Whether you're storing your own photos in a Google Drive account or sharing work documents via Office 365, file sharing in the cloud can be a useful part of your daily life.
#5: Video Calls & Teleconferencing
Last but not least, when you keep in touch with family and friends using Skype or FaceTime, you're relying on cloud computing to support that activity. Once again, servers and IT infrastructure outside your home or business support the video feed that allows you to reconnect with people – whether they are down the street or across the country.
The cloud remains a hot topic of conversation for businesses – and it often seems scary and complex. But, when partnering with a cloud services provider, transitioning to and operating in the cloud can be as simple as using these consumer-based cloud computing services.