It’s 2014. The Year of the Cloud. Some of us still aren't sure if the Cloud is right for us. But how do I know when it’s the right time for me? (By the way, we show you exactly what you need to know about the cloud to help you with this decision in our free cloud report here, shameless plug over).
I see it everywhere, it’s all around me. Sometimes it seems like the next temporary fad in a modern world where top-rated websites like MySpace or AOL can vanish overnight. What’s to say this fad isn't going to just up and leave me like those did? How can I jump in head-first when I’m not sure the Cloud will last?
The main factor here is that the Cloud is not new. It can’t be a fad, it’s been here for a while and we’ve engrained it into our lives, whether we realize it or not. I started making a list of ways we already use the cloud, it got too long (reached over 100 before I gave up), so I decided to list just a few of the most prolific ways we’re always using it in our personal lives.
Think about it for a second, online photo sharing, web-based email, any of the various music sites we rely on so heavily (I love you, Pandora, I really do.) Many of the sites we spend most of our time on are labeled as “under the cloud model.”
Let’s take a look at how some of these sites are using the Cloud
Gmail or any of the other web-based email service is using the Cloud to deliver these trusty services. Your personal contacts, their contact information, your private email history, it’s all tucked safely away…in the Cloud.
Flickr, Instagram, and Pinterest are doing the same thing. Instead of email and contact information they are storing your images (or your valuable personal data, as it were) in, you guessed it, the Cloud.
Even the cool kids are using the Cloud
Social media is all the rage these days. All the cool kids are doing it. In 2014, even we professionals are getting in on it with Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn becoming huge platforms for advertising in basically every industry in existence. All of your information, baby pictures, birthdays, even sometimes your last avenue of contact with long lost friends, it’s stored, you know where.
Wait, so, isn't the Cloud just the internet?
It is, sure, but the Cloud is about how we use the opportunity the internet gives us. Remember, the internet was always thought of as the “information superhighway” and now it really gets to play that role.
So much like Starbucks is your destination on your morning commute, the cloud is the Internet's destination for all of this data. Ironically you can access the cloud in Starbucks...free wifi anyone?
How much cloud do we use already?
I searched all over the internet because that’s what I like to do. Here’s some interesting stuff I found:
Industry reports show Gmail is now reporting something like 150,000,000 active emails addresses in their cloud. We upload more than 2,000,000,000 videos to YouTube per day. That’s 9 zeroes. With the cloud most of those YouTube videos are tied to a Gmail address. It’s all done via…the Cloud.
The Cloud is obviously something we've come to need in our personal lives, seems it might be useful at work. With that said here are...
Five Ways the Cloud Can Benefit Your Company Right Now:
- Rapid Deployment
Instead of taking weeks, or worse, months to deploy a new application it takes just a few hours in 2014. That sounds like something I’d want for my work day.
Providing more users with more access to more information at an affordable rate. Sounds good to me.
Access your email, your documents, and your data anytime, anywhere, on any connected device. I can’t describe how many times this has saved me. Writing presentations on my tablet from the shopping mall during Christmas season while the wife looks around Macy’s.
- Headache Reduction
The Cloud allows professionals to do what they do, so you can do what you do. The Cloud, also used as a solution for the work day headache.
- Predicable Costs
Like utilities, it’s a great convenience to move your IT budget into the predictable costs (OpEx) category where it belongs. Alongside your water, electricity and cable bills, the Cloud is no longer a large, surprise capital expenditure that pops up at the worst of times.
The Cloud is here, we use it and we love it. It’s not going anywhere because we wouldn’t know what to do without it. We’ve embraced the Cloud so heavily in our personal lives, it almost seems like we’re a bit behind when it comes to streamlining our professional lives.