The Cloud in the Workspace Today (Infographic)

Life in the Cloud

The Cloud. This phrase, which once only meant the big, puffy things you see in the air, has trans­formed into a tech­no­lo­gical catch-all that epito­mizes our current culture of inter­con­nec­ti­vity. We hear about it ever­y­where: cloud strea­ming services has infil­trated our phones, offices, and thanks to the miracle of Netflix, in our homes. Its influence has comple­tely revo­lu­tio­nized the way we work and play, but does anyone really know what the cloud does? Is it like a real cloud? We really don’t float data through the air, do we?

Of course we don’t! Put simply, the cloud is merely a way to store data off of your PC and onto a diffe­rent computer system through the Internet. The cloud operates through a series of servers – those big, whir­ring networked compu­ters – all across the world. Compa­nies that offer cloud services have warehouses filled with these servers. When someone accesses or saves a docu­ment through a cloud, they’re simply using their Internet connec­tion to access the server that has that information.

While some enter­prises may balk at the idea of sending their files and sensi­tive data to a “new tech­no­logy,” the truth is that we’ve been trus­ting the cloud (or at least the concept of the cloud) for years now. We’ve compiled some of the most common uses of cloud compu­ting in the work­force below:

1) Backup and Recovery

Keeping a file reco­very and backup plan is probably the first and fore­most service enter­prises consider when it comes to cloud, as it should be! Busi­nesses that rely heavily on data build off-site storage in the cloud into disaster conti­nuity plans to miti­gate any physical damage. Storing their files on a cloud saves an enter­prises’ irre­placeable docu­ments and also helps stream­line the process of resuming busi­ness as usual after any system down­time occurs.

2) File Storage and Transfer

Way back in the days of Ye Olde Dialup, the Internet was barely strong enough to load a web page at a reasonable speed. Connec­tions noto­riously cut out, media files took ages to load, and bless your heart if someone try to make a phone call while you were in the middle of a down­load. It made more sense for people to save files and run programs through their computer’s hard drive, external disk, or a physi­cally connected network, since it was inef­fi­cient to do any heavy-lifting through the Internet.

As the deve­lo­p­ment and adop­tion of high speed Internet came to be, so did the capa­city to send and save files through the Internet. Even­tually, the concept of keeping docu­ments saved through the cloud was a prac­tical deve­lo­p­ment on both a personal and enter­prise level: by saving your files off-site and acces­sing them via the Internet, you free up extra space in your hard drive, which in turn helps your computer run faster.

3) Platform-as-a-Service

Plat­form-as-a-Service – or PaaS – is a form of cloud compu­ting that allows users to create and deploy web appli­ca­tions without the burden of buil­ding and finan­cing expen­sive hard­ware in-house. PaaS can save a company a tremen­dous amount of money and time by outsour­cing a bulk of the infra­struc­ture needed to do any compu­ta­tional heavy-lifting, like rende­ring. PaaS is the most advan­ta­geous for startups and small compa­nies that don’t have the resources to pour into their own servers, but can be applied to projects that large compa­nies take on as well.

4) Web Hosting

Similar to PaaS, cloud hosting can provide a stable home for the websites of entre­pre­neurs and enter­prises alike. The benefit of cloud hosting over more tradi­tional hosting services is that the cloud is decen­tra­lized – that is to say, your website isn’t stored in just one loca­tion, so in the event that physical infra­struc­ture is damaged at one site, your infor­ma­tion is also safely stored on a second, connected site. This ensures that your site remains live and func­tio­ning, even if physical damage is sustained by the host.

5) Collaboration

Imagine how annoying it would be passing one singular docu­ment back and forth between depart­ments in your office. Thank­fully, cloud-based colla­bo­ra­tion appli­ca­tions have become the bread and butter of today’s buzzing work­force, allo­wing for real-time parti­ci­pa­tion and feed­back from multiple people across the globe. This not only fosters better commu­ni­ca­tion from office­mates and cowor­kers but makes commu­ni­ca­tion with remote workers, free­lan­cers, and clients much more open, allo­wing for complete project trans­pa­rency and direct access to real-time progress.

6) Communication

We can’t help but feel a little sorry for the postal service. After hundreds of years of being an abso­lute neces­sity, email swoops in and turns it into a novelty almost over­night, and has held the posi­tion as the premier commu­ni­ca­tion tool for the last 25 years or so. Yes, your email is a func­tion of the cloud! Since your inbox is acces­sible prima­rily through the Internet, most of it is stored off-site on a sepa­rate server. Your instant messa­ging apps are big cloud users too, while we’re at it.

The below info­gra­phic from cloud-compu­ting company Sing­leHop further illus­trates some of the uses of the cloud in our ever­yday lives. As our tech­no­lo­gies continue to inte­grate an always-connected Internet into their infra­struc­ture, it’s incre­asingly looking like the cloud is here to stay.

Infographic Cloud in the Workspace

About Author: SingleHop

Sing­leHop is a leading global provider of hosted IT infra­struc­ture and cloud compu­ting. We are pionee­ring the global cloud IaaS move­ment by enab­ling SMBs and service provi­ders in the design, deploy­ment, and manage­ment of a wide range of IT solutions.

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