Ways You Are “Using the Cloud” and Did Not Realize It
Most of us at one point in time have been asked if we are “using the cloud” or if you are an Apple user like me, then you are familiar with the iPhone and Mac iCloud on our devices. Still for many of us, the “cloud” is more of a slogan than reality, because we may have an unclear sense of what it really means. You may ask yourself why is this so complicated to understand or where does all of this information really go? Is this something I could use?
Truth is, you are likely using the cloud every day, without even realizing it. *In 2015, studies show small businesses that moved to the cloud doubled their profits, and saw an additional twenty-five percent increase in revenue compared to their cloudless competitors. If you have been or still are skeptical about using the cloud, then continue to read the top five ways you are already using it and what this could mean for you and your business.
You are most likely using the cloud if you are relocating files, sending emails, publishing blogs online, on social media or streaming shows. Now you are most likely asking yourself, what do any of these have to do with “using the cloud”? Let’s take a deeper look.
- Relocating Files
Let’s say you have a file that you would like to send to someone. If you use online storage sites for examples, Google Drive, Dropbox and OneCloud, these are free or inexpensive services that offer backup and transfer and simple interfaces with the ability to access from any internet connection.
- Sending Mail
One of the most popular ways to use email is through web services such as Gmail, Office 365 or Yahoo mail. These cloud email services allow us to open email from anywhere without the need of servers, spam filters and other programs.
- Publishing Online
Using WordPress for blogs to looking up a hotel review on Yelp, many have a presence on the web and some even host that presence themselves.
- Social Media
Social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumbler allow us to blog socially, send messages, share files and create image galleries. Most of us would think of these social media platforms as websites, but in fact they are cloud applications that are accessible from any device and connect millions of people all with the click of a button.
- Streaming Shows
As cable services become more expensive, companies like Amazon are coming out with streaming alternatives such as their Firefox device that relies on services like Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, and Pandora to stream movies, shows and music. These platforms are cloud-based services, that use cloud hosting to manage their own files.
From streaming mass media to webmail, you most likely already aware of the many benefits of cloud services in your daily life. With the right platforms and services, you have the ability to access from virtually anywhere with an internet connection can be applied to your business life as well.
By: Ashley Lamb, TCS
*Intuit, Small Business Success in the Cloud, August 2014, HP Technology at Work