Ten Most Common Uses of Cloud Computing
Nowadays, cloud computing is everywhere and is being used by many in our everyday life. Being used a lot, cloud computing has grown over the past year in popularity from obscurity to a star leading service.
In today’s world, it is more important than ever for business people to be able to not only get what we need but also get it when we need it. We simply must have information at our fingertips no matter where we are. What we can use the cloud for is incredible.
How many and which one or ones of cloud computing uses would best help us to meet our personal or business needs?
Common Cloud Computing Uses:
1. Back Up: Back up is one of the most popular uses of the Cloud. The original design of the Cloud was actually for this purpose. Now-a-days everyone whether in business or our personal life is backing up projects, photos and data files to cloud hosting.
Storing our files on our computers without any other backup can actually be dangerous. Either our home or business computer can be damaged by a security breach or virus attack. That’s when online backup services that have been specifically developed to safeguard files come to the rescue. How do they do this? Some services will make copies of our files and store them on a server in the cloud, and other services will store our files on synchronized, individual computers in the cloud as well.
Cloud-based backup is not what it used to be. Currently, we can actually ship data to any location across the Internet knowing that security, capacity or availability is not an issue.
2. Web-Based Mailing: A significant part of cloud services is web-based mailing. Being easily accessible from anywhere, web-based accounts provide users with a unique freedom of movement, and, at the same time extend and enhance access to communication tools.
Topping the charts for uses are Google and Google+. These are used for both sending and receiving emails as well as to engage in the Google+ Hangout feature. These are considered by many to be the biggest slice of cloud resources.
3. Analytics of Big Data: A benefit of cloud computing is being able to use the huge quantities of data stored in the cloud. This data can be used by businesses such as suppliers and retailers. The information found in the cloud helps to form marketing and advertising campaigns based on knowing the target for businesses as well as the specific population segment most likely to be prospective buyers. The basis for analytics on behavior patterns of consumers that can be used to develop meaningful information is currently provided by social networking platforms.
4. Collaboration: Through the use of programs such as Google Docs, business professionals can develop, share and collaborate on any project they are working on. Files do not have to use space on their personal devices since they can be stored in the Cloud and only when needed be pulled out of the Cloud.
This also makes it possible for many users to collaborate on one project or document. Box.net can also offer the developing, sharing and collaborating, and it can also be used as a virtual drive.
5. Reduction of Cost: Physical file storage can be more expensive than cloud storage, therefore, cloud computing can save a business a large amount of money.
• Since many applications using the Cloud update themselves automatically, there is no need for us to pay for IT support to provide updating our storage system and maintaining it.
• Another way we can save costs when using the Cloud is by not buying software. The hosting of applications by the Cloud, often eliminates our need to purchase software. We simply do not have to buy software programs and install them on our servers or computers since we can use Cloud applications which are cheaper instead.
• We can also save costs by being able to use less system hardware. Software programs as well as data backup use up a lot of space on our computers or servers. Through the use of cloud computing, we can store data on someone else’s servers instead. This will free up our in-house computer for other uses. We may actually need fewer computers due to this benefit of using cloud computing.
• Our not having to purchase applications we need and want and have them customized for us can also save us costs. This is because cloud computing applications make integration easier. We can find compatible applications instead since many applications of cloud computing include an Application Programming Interface.
6. Mobile Offices Creation: The cloud provides small businesses with the ability to build efficient mobile offices. With the Cloud, we can access our data wherever we are, at any time and on any device. This essentially allows us to take our office on the road.
7. Storage of Files: Marketing activities of businesses today often use both video and audio enhancement. These types of files use up a large part of our hard drive space, and this can be very costly. By using cloud hosting, we can move these large files off of our local system and have more space available for the files we must access daily.
8. Planning for Growth: The Cloud can make it possible for our business to have a plan for growth since the Cloud is scalable. With the benefits of Cloud hosting, we can create our plan for growth without a substantial investment up-front. By starting small and increasing our usage gradually over time, we need only pay incrementally for access to services we need. By doing this, we can either eliminate or at least reduce our need for in-house IT staff for the management of our technology since the apps of the Cloud allow the Cloud to be self-managed.
9. Consolidation of Applications: We can actually consolidate several of our application needs into one cloud computing multi-application service. Applications such as Google Apps for Business includes a calendar scheduling application as well as email. Google Sites offer website creation, and Google Docs allows for the creation of presentations, documents and forms plus file storage online. The office application suite of the Microsoft desktop version costs hundreds of dollars. However, Office 365, a cloud-based version including cloud storage, is now available at a monthly or yearly charge.
10. Disaster Recovery: Although both the products and services of the concept of disaster recovery is new, companies are starting to use cloud services for disaster recovery. Companies that are strapped for IT resources find it an attractive alternative less data center space is needed for disaster recovery in the cloud, and IT resources and infrastructure are not needed. This has a significant cost reduction and enables smaller companies to set up disaster recovery options that were only possible for larger enterprise use in the past.
The Cloud Reduces Business Costs
Business owners usually want to reduce costs, but they certainly don’t want to sacrifice their ability to do business and be competitive. This is especially true of small businesses.
By using the Cloud, businesses can do this. We can start small in order to see the benefits of the Cloud without making major modifications to our business. In this way, we can discover new ways to use and benefit from the Cloud over time.