The world of computers as we know it is currently undergoing a major shift. While many of us are used to thinking of computers as a place to store the programs and information we need, cloud computing is making that idea a thing of the past.
Cloud computing at its most basic is the storage of programs, documents, and data in data centers around the world, instead of on your computer’s hard drive or a local server. It can feel weird trusting your information to a business, but cloud computing has quickly evolved to become more secure and reliable then local storage.
How is this going to affect you? In all honestly, it probably already has. Services such as Dropbox have made using the cloud an easy, practical choice for people who want to access their files from multiple devices at any time. Google Drive (encompassing Gmail, Google Docs, Google Maps and more) is another popular example of a cloud-based system that many of us use every day!
On a larger scale, major companies like Microsoft and Adobe are quickly moving over to cloud-based services. Instead of buying Microsoft software for your business, you can now subscribe to online access for programs such as Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint. None of these programs will be stored on your computer, but you will still be able to access their full, seamless functionality.
For many businesses, cloud computing now makes the most sense. Not only is it the direction that companies like Microsoft are going, but it is often the more convenient, reliable, and inexpensive option for small business. All that you truly need to access cloud services is a reliable Internet connection and some basic security measures – both of which can be easily set up by your IT providers. Best of all, switching to the cloud can free you from the responsibilities of maintaining a local server, the need to access information from a single physical location, and constant worrying about whether or not your data is accessible and secure.
It’s disorienting to picture a technological world where data location is less of a focus, but it’s certainly the direction that programs are heading. From cloud-based information storage to streaming entertainment services, computers are quickly becoming a way to access programs and information – not a way to store them.
While this is a big change for computing, it doesn’t need to be an intimidating one. For the most part, cloud-based services can be accessed without a need for you to develop new skills or processes. In fact, your transition to most cloud-based services should be almost seamless.
If you’re interested in using the cloud for your business’ daily computing needs, talk to your IT provider. They will be able to help you come up with a solution that best fits your needs, and will be able to make your transition from local storage to cloud-based computing as easy and secure as possible.