Cloud computing brings unparalleled powers to even the humblest computing devices by allowing users to connect with remote servers from anywhere in the world to access files and use the very latest applications. Although the technology has been around for a while it is only now coming into its own thanks to increases in broadband connection speeds and a growing trend towards the outsourcing of labour and services.
The Concept of Cloud Computing
The concept might be simple but the take-up by business and private users could make cloud computing one of the most exciting advances since the creation of the internet. It has come a long way from early examples of cloud computing such as Facebook and Wikipedia – today’s users can access an armoury of sophisticated interactive business tools designed to make them work smarter, more efficiently and more productively.
Productivity in the Cloud
Cloud computing has obvious applications in companies with a mobile workforce. A sales representative on the road can log into a server to retrieve stock data and process orders. Engineers in the field might use it to access a mass of fully updated technical data and drawings that are stored on a central server so as not to take up space on their own hard drive. And several people can work on a project at the same time no matter where they might be located, inputting and updating data for later retrieval by colleagues working in the field.
It also has potential for the growing number of companies who choose to outsource services in fields as diverse as accountancy, design, copywriting and IT. A business simply places their job description on one of the many outsourcing sites now in existence and have instant, 24 hour access to a global pool of talent. There are applications too in the delivery of software as a service (SaaS) where customers use applications that are hosted on a central server instead of on their own computer. As internet speeds and capacity continue to increase, these applications are likely to be just the beginning of a new revolution in computing.
Picture by Stephen VanHorn – Fotolia