In my last post I gave an overview of Cloud Computing as a whole and some of the different kinds of cloud computing there are. This post is a short list, more or less, that shows some places where you may already be using cloud services and don’t realize it; followed by some of the ways businesses will and are now utilizing “the Cloud.” As the definition of the cloud remains, well, cloudy, it is certain that it has its place and will be important to business professionals and active users of net based resources.
Following are ten cloud based services broken down into two categories. The first five are resources we already use; and may or may not realize they are considered cloud based technology. The second five are more business related applications that will surely become more significant as we advance into the near future.
Everyday Cloud Computing
1. Email: Yes, good old email is certainly something we use daily and our accounts are made available through the servers of the larger companies that offer them. The inbox itself to the many functions that may come with your account are a form of cloud computing.
2. Online shopping: When we buy stuff from all those great sites with the cool stuff, new sneakers, and shades; we are computing in the cloud. Zappos, cloud. Ebay, cloud. Amazon, definitely cloud.
3. Web Hosting: For anybody who has a blog or website, they’re familiar with hosting. Web hosts are the services that give our sites an address or a place to stay; and they do this remotely and in the cloud.
4. Social Networks: Oh Yeah that, it’s a biggie and cloud all the way. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube with all their features and sharing capabilities it will be interesting to see what’s next.
5. Mobile: Mobile has a huge connection to the cloud. All the apps from photo sharing to music and the connection to the web and all the services that tie you to the web and come with your devices are all part of the cloud.
Business Cloud Computing
1. Software: This allows people to use the tools they need, when they need them, and not have to purchase the software outright. This will mean dollars saved and access to a greater variety of tools.
2. Creating and Sharing Documents: Document sharing has seen a recent surge and these types of sites will probably continue to rise in popularity. They make available an endless supply of information and enable us to contribute to, as well as draw from their vast resources.
3. Presentations: For many businesses presentations are the lifeblood, and combined with one and two, create a triumvirate of cloud services that are crucial to the performance of a business. Webinars, Pod-casts, PowerPoint presentations can all be cloud based and accessed when needed; saving resources and money.
4. Networking Within Your Business: Like social networking and promoting and communicating; online businesses want to be able to get their message out. However, private networks will be important to maintain a cohesive network structure within their own community and cloud computing makes this possible.
5. Data Storage and Backup: This one is major and is not last because of its lack of importance. Companies need a place to store all the data created and cloud computing solves this dilemma. Also, security will continue to be a huge concern for everyone, even more so in the future.
The whole list, of course, is much more comprehensive and much longer. More services will be added in the coming years to make even more services available which will make it hard to include on one blog post. I’m sure I probably left some out, but I just wanted to show how significant cloud computing is in our lives. Please offer your thoughts or let me know if I left out some cloud services you use.