Cloud computing and it’s increasing use amongst businesses has crept up on us over the past few years, whereas we were once heavily dependent on investing in dedicated hardware and software to set up IT and business ventures, we can now utilize the advantages of ‘the cloud’.
‘Cloud computing’ has revolutionised the way we use the internet. Applications such as Gmail, YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr, Slideshare, Skype and particularly Dropbox all owe their popularity to cloud computing and content. These applications are only a small number from a long list of cloud applications – platforms that hold your information, (images, video, presentations, voice) and look after it all so you don’t have to worry about them.
So what is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is basically the outsourcing of computer services, the sharing of technologies and applications onto one globally utilized source. Put simply, the cloud is a collection of computers which are connected through a real time connection, usually the internet, a virtual server if you like, which we can then access either for free or under a subscription service. Cloud computing enables us to go from being hardware dependent to being part of a digital sphere where all the resources are shared among us.
So, what you have is a collection of servers acting as one to provide us, the consumer, with services, applications and resources that we previously would have to purchase to run on our computers. These very same services and applications can now be accessed through the virtual cloud that is the internet.
Cloud computing can be compared to systems already in place such as the electrical grid, you don’t worry about where your electricity is coming from, only that you have it! Cloud technology is similar in that, there is a network of computers and servers which are configured in the background to give us, the consumer, access to this ultimately more powerful and versatile medium.
Cloud computing is a new concept to most, but chances are that if you use e-mail applications such as Hotmail or Gmail, you have dipped your virtual toe into the cloud computing stratosphere. Every time you connect to the internet, there is a strong chance you are accessing the data you require through the ‘cloud’. Cloud resources include Google, Amazon and Microsoft to name but a few.
We are essentially the front end user from a cloud computing based backup, a good example of this is Facebook, users share their content, photographs and updates, but where is this coming from and how do we access it, the answer, is the cloud.
To get a better understanding of how the cloud works, if you can imagine the cloud is made up of layers, we as consumer’s, see and interact with the front end layers. The data we see when we log into applications such as Facebook are supplied by back end layers that consist of the hardware and architecture required to deliver what we see on the front end layer. These front and back end layers are connected by the internet.
So how is the cloud beneficial to your business?
There are a number of factors that are beneficial to a business using cloud technology.
Firstly, if you have a business which is heavily dependent on hardware and software, this can be an expensive infrastructure cost, and one, which by the nature of the beast, you will have to maintain as advancements in hardware and software updates is the norm.
In essence, by moving to cloud based applications, you not only avoid having to service potential heavy outlays but you can always be at the forefront of technology. You are essentially adopting a pay as you go service, whenever an update or new version of an application or resource becomes available, then, you, as a cloud user will automatically be using the latest software you require for your field of expertise. Added to this, to go back to the analogy of the cloud and electricity, you only pay for what you use so it’s cost effective as well.
So, if you have a company that uses specific software, you would traditionally have had to invest in a license for each user within your company, the use of cloud technology eradicates this outlay, each user simply hooks up to the cloud subscription service to furnish their needs.
You, as a business can now access your data from anywhere in the world, you are not tied to a hard drive or a desktop computer. Anywhere you have access to the internet, you will have access to the services and resources supplied within the cloud, the days of being tied to one device or station are over.
The power of many utilized by the need of one.
Another advantage is the power of the cloud, by hooking up to this virtual server, you are opening up a resource that is capable of fulfilling all your IT needs, and if necessary, at short notice. You are tapping into a stratosphere of servers and computers that are running as one, in theory, any application, storage or resource you require is available through the cloud, the scope for expansion is limited only by the company’s boundaries that it sets for itself.
Curating content in the cloud
While this seismic shift in the way we receive, correlate and share resources through cloud technology is just another in a long line of examples of how the internet is constantly changing and evolving. We have to ask ourselves, with this colossal amount of data and information available to us, how do we find the relevant sectors that we want to interpret?
The answer is by using content curation tools such as 3D Issue Hubs, content curation tools such as these enable us to filter through the near infinite resources available through platforms such as the cloud.
We can utilize Hubs to filter out what we don’t want to be notified of and what we do, we can take advantage of its responsive layout and use it, like cloud technology on whatever device we happen to have at hand at any given time.
Try Hubs for free today.