Cloud computing has changed a lot since it first began in the early 2000s. Office programs such as Microsoft Word are accessible via a web browser, reading apps allow bookworms to switch devices without losing their place, and laptops are being designed with only 32GB of storage space. Many of the cloud services are available for free and they are changing the way that companies do business. For example, instead of emailing a spreadsheet back and forth or gathering together for a meeting, users can log into Google Drive from their computer, tablet, or mobile phone and edit the spreadsheet together. As a result, laptops like the Chromebook were created with minimal storage space with the idea that everything on the laptop will be done through the web and all documents will be stored in the cloud.
Adjusting to the world of cloud computing isn’t the easiest for some. Applications such as Google Photos have features which can go through photos on mobile devices and remove them if they’ve already been backed up. However, it can be difficult to delete something important such as a picture featuring late family member off of a phone even while knowing it’s safe and sound in an online album. Also, while some older businesses are slowly beginning to warm up to cloud computing, a large portion of work is still mostly done on paper and is filed traditionally rather than stored electronically. Further still, web access is not always available for everyone, even in an office setting. Mobile data plans can assist with that issue, but performing important work-related tasks over WiFi is a much better option. And finally, the costs for cloud storage can be very expensive when mass quantities of files need to be stored away and bankers boxes, filing cabinets, and hard drives can be much cheaper.
Slowly easing into electronic storage in the cloud to get used to the concept can start in the home. External hard drives are great for storing large amounts of files, photos, and even game data, but storing things online with Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, or Apple’s iCloud will provide an extra back-up in case the hard drive breaks or goes missing. These services offer a limited amount of storage space for free with different packages are varying prices if the storage space needs to be increased. Students and teachers will want to take advantage of Microsoft’s Office promotion which offers the Office programs for free upon submitting a valid school email address. The online service for Office allows students to write a document using a desktop computer at home and finish the document on a laptop or tablet at school before submitting it.
Cloud computing has a fair share of advantages and disadvantages, but it is the way of the future nonetheless. It has been suggested that cloud computing will encourage the creation new business models within the next few years and perhaps even bring about new products and services never seen before. Cloud storage services are going to continue to grow and evolve into something fantastic that will help people at the office and in the comfort of the home so that it can be a useful tool for everyone.