Cloud computing is a method of delivering computing services. Initially conceived in 2006, it has become a common method of transferring files through the Internet. Cloud computing represents a fundamental shift in business, where computing has traditionally been considered a product. Here are 10 ways in which cloud computing has changed business.
- Cloud computing has greatly simplified the task of sharing files on a network. This typically requires users to place an application icon for the cloud computing software onto their computer’s desktop. A file can be shared simply by dragging it into the icon. File-sharing previously required expertise in networking.
- Large companies began developing the tools that provide cloud-computing services. Gartner research predicts that customers will spend $16 billion per year on cloud computing services by the year 2016.
- Cloud computing has caused business leaders to assume that all digital information is available through the Internet.
- Cloud-computing businesses are becoming extremely competitive. Box.net, CloudMe, Dropbox, Egnyte and SugarSync are all cloud-computing startups that have been founded since 2000. Big companies such as Apple and Google are also getting involved with this trend.
- Businesses that provide cloud-computing services are able to obtain large amounts of funding. For example, Dropbox obtained venture capital worth more than $250 million in September of 2011.
- Cloud computing allows average users to transfer files between devices, rather than just high-end users. The transfer of files between devices started becoming an issue for average users in 2007.
- Cloud computing also allows users to connect different types of devices on the Internet, which have proliferated since the late 1990s. In addition to a PC or Mac, users today may also have a smartphone or tablet, which is fully integrated with cloud computing services.
- Businesses now consider data sharing to be an integral part of computing, along with having the right data and Internet connectivity. These three elements are now business requirements, rather than options.
- Cloud computing has allowed users to become more mobile. IDC, a market research firm, reports that 758.6 million mobile users were connected to the Internet 2006. That number is projected to increase to 1.3 billion by 2013.
- The transfer of large files such a multimedia files is faster with cloud computing. Prior to cloud computing, these files were typically transferred by downloading them from a server. This process becomes time consuming when it is performed frequently.
Whether you’re sharing documents with office mates or trying to decide what to do in Chicago, cloud computing has many valid uses that has made sharing information infinitely easier. Gone are the days of snail mail and bulky file cabinets. Now, with a few clicks of the mouse, you can stay connected and up-to-date, making cloud computing a winning solution for the business world. With all of these innovations, who knows where we will be five or ten years from now? The possibilities seem limitless.