Cloud Computing in Everyday Life

Just a few short years ago, the term cloud computing was reserved for a few visionaries in IT departments.

Today, you can’t turn anywhere without seeing the term.

Everyone from SalesForce, to Apple, to Microsoft, and even Amazon is touting it as the wave of the future. But just what is cloud computing?

Enterprise cloud users benefit from the IT infrastructure vendors like Apple and Amazon already have in place to conduct their business or personal needs in a more cost efficient way.

Rather than investing valuable resources for on site software and hardware, cloud computing customers pay only for the resources they use.

And added advantage to enterprise cloud computing is that the end user is free from maintaining additional storage hardware or making sure software is kept current.

There are two main ways cloud computing has become immediately available to the average user.

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage was one of the first major services to appear and is still the primary way individuals take advantage of it. Two instantly recognizable sources for cloud storage are Apple and Amazon. Both offer 5GB of storage free to all registered users.

Apple iCloud

It automatically stores content so it’s always available on any Apple device you own: iphone, iPod touch, iPad, Macs.

This feature even works on PCs. The result is your photos, music, contacts, email, calendars info and a host of other information is available wherever you are without any maintenance or thought on your part.

Purchased music, books, and video, and Photo Stream don’t count against your free storage.

For most end-users, 5GB proves to be sufficient but additional storage is available at a fraction of the cost of purchasing hardware.

Amazon Cloud

Like Apple iCloud, Amazon cloud drive doesn’t count any books, music, or video purchased from Amazon against your storage space.

There are further advantages to cloud storage in these formats beyond being an additional hard drive in the sky.

With both Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes and Noble’s NOOK the user not only has all content available on practically any device but can pick up where they left off reading across platforms.

Say you were reading a book on your NOOK and the battery dies. From an Android app or your computer you can open the same book and it will be right where you left off.

Cloud-based Apps

These are apps that rely on a data connection that connects to the cloud network.

They mostly won’t work if you don’t have a 3G or WiFi connection since they’re so deeply enmeshed with cloud access. Since you’re only actually connecting to them when you need them, they’re also known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

Many commercial SaaS vendors like NetSuite are now incorporating personal apps like Gmail and Google Calendar as add-ons.

The result is that what users are familiar with at work, at home, on the road, and at play are becoming one in the same.

Why the Cloud?

Put simply, SaaS and all enterprise cloud computing is cheaper, faster, works better, and is free from many of the problems of on-site storage and implementation.

Jesse Langley
Jesse Langley lives in Austin where he works and enjoys the live music capital of world. He enjoys sports, social media and blogging. He writes on behalf of Colorado Technical University.
If you wish to write for techchai, you can get in touch using the write for us form above.

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