The arrival of cloud computing has made rapid and far-reaching changes to the way we all work and, by extension, also to other aspects of our lives. The increase in the amount of information that can be stored, the ease and speed of doing so, and the number of people around the world that can be connected by this technology, are all transforming the experience of work and collaboration for the better. Put simply, cloud computing has opened the door to new layers of possibility. The really good news is that we’re only just starting to fully explore them.
Space is the place
The basis of cloud computing is in providing a facility to store data in a huge virtual space on the internet. This space is known as the cloud. This capability not only immediately removes the need for bulky real-world storage of physical paper files, but it also removes the need to store digital information on a company’s own computer. As a result they no longer need to have their own servers or keep important information on vulnerable hard drives or external devices.
The cloud is the most secure form of data storage there is. That might seem counter-intuitive, however,keeping your information away from your headquarters in a non-physical space that you do not own actually means it’s safer and better protected than if you stored it yourself. That’s because the cloud isn’t reliant on a single piece of hardware or software to keep it in existence, and also because your cloud provider is committed to providing the very highest level of security for its clients.
In a competitive market, looking after your data is a cloud provider’s number one job and it’s not something that they can afford to fall down on. That’s why they’ll always have the very latest and tightest security measures in place to prevent unauthorized access to your data, or any chance of it being lost or corrupted.
At the same time, the other main advantage of the cloud is the fact that it allows multiple points of authorized access from any device wherever it happens to be located. Anyone you want to work with on a document or a body of information, such as co-workers, employees, clients and customers, can be given permission to remotely access the data and to work on it in real time from anywhere in the world.
Potentially, individuals can contribute, edit, share and collaborate from an infinite number of PCs, tablets or even from their phones. But they can all be working on the same document in real time just as if they were all gathered around the same desk in a crowded office, peering over each other’s shoulders.
The gateway to freedom
The fact that people don’t have to be in the same office to work together is the key to the revolutionary potential of the cloud. It’s something that Charles Phillips saw back in 2014, when as CEO of multinational software company Infor he introduced their groundbreaking Cloudsuite product. Now used by major clients all around the world, Cloudsuite has helped to make Infor the third largest enterprise technology provider on the planet.
The cloud has opened the door to remote working, working from home, more flexible hours for employees and a better work-life balance. It also enables truly global collaboration without delays, confusion or contradiction. The cloud connects and brings people together, at the same time as giving them greater autonomy, independence and control over their lives.
The cloud also helps with the physical delivery of goods, making it easier to track orders and sign for items. This information is securely stored, updated and accessible in real time. In this way the cloud allows for greater transparency in terms of production and supply chains. In terms of the wider world we can see how in this respect cloud technology is an important contributing factor towards greater social justice, fair trade and accountability.
Leisure and commerce
Away from the world of business, cloud technology has also changed the way we spend our leisure time. The cloud is a boon to both online shopping and to bricks and mortar stores, where inventory can be logged online and accessed by both staff and customers. So if you’re looking for a particular item, the cloud can let you know if it’s in stock at a particular store.
Cloud computing has also remarkably improved online gaming. The high speed of the cloud allows better graphics, faster action and more sophisticated gameplay even on mobile devices. Mobile is now seen as the next big market for video games, with a wider proportion of the population predictedto enjoy these games in the coming years than ever previously played on PCs or consoles. From business to leisure, shopping to healthcare, cloud computing has transformed our world. More information is now available to far more people than ever before, and the changes are only just beginning.