So do you use ‘the cloud’? Most people’s first reaction is “no”.
But let’s ask you another question… Do you make use of internet banking or other cloud computing IT services like Dropbox?
Yes? Then you are in the cloud.
Seeing as just about everyone uses online banking, we will go ahead and use this to help explain the evolution of cloud computing IT services. While we’re at it, we will look at the progression most of us make towards using cloud IT services as a de facto standard for service consumption. Here we go:
The Backdrop: Online Banking
When last did you venture into a branch of your bank? More than likely it was a while ago. For many of us, it is a forgotten era.
But for those of you who subscribed to online and telephone banking since the beginning of their banking lives, here’s an idea of what brick-and-mortar banks were like:
Large buildings housed row upon row of tellers, who would greet you by your first name and stamp your little leather-bound savings booklet with every transaction. Cosy stuff.
Today, instead of reaching for your car keys as the first step of a financial transaction, you reach for your phone.
This is pretty much what IT cloud computing services have done for general business, because it’s convenient, fast and effective.
That’s the essence of what cloud IT is all about.
It puts money and time in your pocket.
It encourages productivity, speed of delivery and customer service efficiencies.
Online banking stripped away the physical layers that were comfortable and gave us options. It wasn’t an either or – but through its progression and now maturity, we have all become comfortable with it and even prefer it.
Now, consider an enterprise using cloud computing IT as the delivery service for computing resources. The benefits that can be enjoyed by one individual are magnified by scale.
What resources are we talking about?
These, and more, can all be delivered via the ‘as-a-Service’ model.
Cloud Computing IT Services and You
There is an abundance of examples of cloud computing IT services, which many of us use today without a second thought. Some of them include:
With Apple Music, there’s no longer any need to buy music. A monthly subscription means the music you like is streamed to your devices whenever and wherever desired.
Use Dropbox to store files and access them from any device, anywhere there is a connection.
Use Facebook to stay in touch with friends and family. Update them on day-to-day activities and also keep up to date on what they are up to.
No need for photo albums any longer. Use Flickr and sometimes even Facebook to store memories from smartphones or other devices.
A smartphone with Google Maps helps plan routes, avoid traffic and even locate public transport options in my area. Because it is delivered as a service, Google Maps is constantly updated – no need to periodically pay for, download and install new maps.
Love to read? Download favourite books onto a Kindle (or the Amazon Kindle smartphone app) and forget about lugging around heavy books.
Connect to work documents on SkyDrive using your phone, tablet or laptop and enjoy the benefit of being mobile and engaged no matter where (or when).
Got hobbies, loves, ideas and dreams? Keep track of them on Pinterest. Pin and share ideas with a network of likeminded people around the globe.
Love staying in touch with your family overseas, but hate expensive calls? Skype has revolutionised telecoms and you can see, talk and even instant message all through the day at low or no cost.
Use Twitter to stay up to date with news and events that are of interest. Follow #hashtags that are of importance to keep up to speed with the state of play.
No car? No problem! Use UBER to get around. The app provides you with details such as reviews, driver locations and even expected arrival times, giving you full control.
Traffic a nightmare? Proactively tell friends and family to take alternative routes using the crowd sourced power of Waze which lets you know exactly what the traffic situation is.
If playing games alone is dull, XBOX Live changes it up. Chat to friends while playing from the comfort of your couch, stream new games and even join clans and groups from all over the world.