You’ve read about and watched about it, and you probably even use it for work and personal use. Many big tech companies are pouring their time and energy into developing it. People use it to streamline their workflow, connect their data, and use many kinds of software not bound to their hardware. Of course, we’re talking about the cloud. But what is it really and why is it so important?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few years, then you’ve probably heard about the cloud. It’s basically using the internet to gain access to servers, files, and software instead of locally using your hardware, be it a smartphone, laptop, or desktop. As mentioned before, it’s extensively used by everyone, both for work and personal use: from filesharing and storage to running software and streaming videos. The cloud has become integral in our everyday lives, without us even realizing it. Today we’re going to look at how the cloud can make you more efficient- both at work and at home.
Cheap and Easy Data Storage
Cloud data storage allows you to store data, like pictures, videos, and documents, to an online server that can be accessed by you or registered users. Many companies use these to host their files, instead of using somewhat expensive local network storage. This requires very little maintenance, unlike local network storage, as most cloud services offer efficient file management.
There are multiple cloud storage services available, and you probably use some of them already. Most of them are free at lower sizes, but require subscriptions at a minimal fee when you need or want more storage space. Many companies use different storage services to maintain backups of their files or segment them into different sections. While it can be tedious to juggle between service providers, managing your segmented network storage isn’t as difficult anymore, as there are also services that combine them all in one. This saves time as it lets you switch between storage a lot easier, making file transfers or downloads more efficient.
Remote Access, Better Collaboration
Thanks to the Internet, remote access has never been easier. For times when you don’t have your personal or work hardware, you’ll still be able to access all your data via the Internet. This makes managing multiple devices seamless since you don’t need to lug around a USB stick or an external hard drive just to get all the files necessary.
Cloud-based software also offers remote access, as long as you have a device to connect to the internet, you will be able to continue your work anywhere. And since the software is cloud-based, the output can easily be checked by colleagues and coworkers, should that be the choice. This makes collaboration easier, as others will be able to view, edit, or comment on your work as you go along. Recent studies have actually shown that cloud-based tools boost collaboration. In the 21st century, where people are getting used to working remotely more and more, this is something to keep in mind.
Backup and Security
Being that your files will be stored online and not in hardware that’s prone to damage, you can feel safe and secure that you won’t lose your files. Using the cloud as a backup even for your locally-available data has become quite popular recently, as it addresses many concerns of physical storage. In an event of a electrical anomaly, your computer, hard drives, USBs, or other physical forms of storage media can be damaged. Regular use also brings about wear and tear to the rather fragile contact points of these devices. These concerns are practically non-existent when using the cloud, so while completely abandoning physical storage media is unrealistic at this point, using the cloud as a back up isn’t a bad idea.
In regards to security, while some fear that using the cloud leaves you more prone to security issues. While this fear is not without basis, the cloud is evolving and improving at a much faster rate than on-premise or local network security. Security threats can happen at any level of organization, and the cloud has many measures in place to keep things under control. Deciphering the encrypted files that protect the cloud is a difficult task. While it can be done, it requires an immense amount of processing power, forensic-level software, and a skilled technician. It’s safe to say that the cloud is generally safer than local data storage.
The Internet is integrated into our everyday lives at this point. It’s moot to resist it and to be truly efficient in the 21st century, it’s best to understand it and utilize it to its full potential. The cloud is among those things that can make our lives and work so much easier, once we learn how to harness it.