10 Ways The Cloud Could Help Improve Our Lives
Over the past decade, computing trends shifted towards the internet and globalization. This allowed for people across the globe to interact with each other anonymously through chat rooms and online forums. And now with the popularity of social networking, the anonymity is slowly disappearing. That is in the social aspect of computing. In the business aspect, another paradigm has grown in popularity. Because of the turbulent global economic climate, organizations are scrambling to find solutions that would help them leverage their strengths and open themselves to a wider market, a global audience. This is the promise that cloud computing is slowly fulfilling. It allows organizations to provide better services or better administer their internal business through cheap and scalable IT capabilities.
Cloud computing is not just revolutionizing businesses, but also affecting the daily lives of the normal everyday Joe. This is because in our day to day interaction with the internet, we are bound to come across aspects of cloud computing whether we know it or not.
So here are some of the ways that cloud computing is doing to actually improve our lives, or at least change it in some way.
1. Power to provide speed and computing power without interruption. For a person to become a “real gamer” that person needs the hardware to support the claim, or at least support the game and run it in a decent manner. This of course needs a lot of the green stuff, you know, money. But cloud computing is changing all that. Imagine playing the most hardware demanding games on a tablet. Yes this is entirely possible as the game itself will be run on very capably hardware on the server side, while the player is on a mobile device or a weak computer simply streaming the video from the server and uploading controls in real time. All you need is an internet connection capable of streaming videos without stuttering. An example is the service OnLive.
2. Timely corrections can be done. Cloud computing will literally make life easier through notifications and alerts and specific information streaming. For example, as your car may be running near empty and the computer calculates that it cannot reach the nearest gas station, it could send an alert to that gas station in advance that you need some gas delivered halfway to their station, thereby avoiding the inevitable. And if ever your car breaks down, its computer could simply stream you some instructions on how to fix it if it can be remedied or notify the nearest towing company if it can’t.
3. Computing will become invisible. Pretty soon computers and software will become “invisible” in that they are hidden from view. We may simply have to make gestures and a camera will interpret those and provide us what we need, or we simply have to say it. Consider J.A.R.V.I.S. from the Ironman movies, you simply ask something and that information is streamed from the cloud to a projection or a monitor. Most times it could even predict what you need based on past actions and personal behavioral trends.
4. Visibility and reliability of inventory records. Sometimes we go to an online catalogue and see an item we want but then find out that it’s unavailable from the store only when we get there. With cloud computing, these inventories can be updated automatically and will prevent such disappointments. You might ask, what’s the point and why not just buy it online? Well, if you are shopping for clothes, it is always best to do it personally.
5. Companies will become trusted advisors. With our activities being logged online, it won’t be long that companies will know exactly what we want or need when we want or need them. When this happens, advertisements will no longer be required to grab our attention so we buy them but rather they will simply know who needs their products and immediately advise those persons instead.
6. Provide a unique way of selling. As with the point above, businesses would already know what we want and need so they can immediately target the real customer. In other aspects our purchases are slowly moving from the retail store to online stores. In terms of software, free versions can be provided through the cloud and eventually when these people need the other functions of that software, they will purchase it.
7. Globalization of small scale businesses. Because of the very low barrier of entry to cloud computing and the pay-per-use use model, even small businesses can have the IT capabilities of large multinational companies, and thus allowing them to compete globally. For example a small graphic studio from a third world country like the Philippines can sell their services online through various cloud solutions which could not have been possible just a decade ago.
8. Secured data stored in laptops. Stealing corporate laptops is the easiest way to gain sensitive information and conduct industrial espionage. By storing important files and data on the cloud, it can be made secure and can be accessed from anywhere around the world, not being tied down inside a specific device.
9. Developing countries exploiting cloud computing quicker. Organizations and businesses in developing countries that may not have the IT equipment available to large corporations will embrace cloud computing faster to be competitive and may even become market leaders in their own right because of it.
10. Make everyone self reliant. Because of the vast resources being made available through the cloud, companies can rely solely on their own prowess with the help of these resources. It can be used for product development, testing quickly and cheaply, and even collaboration.
With cloud computing, the nature of business is rapidly changing giving small parties a chance to compete with the big boys. And because of this, the consumers will benefit tremendously in the long run because of enhanced services and products and the affordability that competition and consumption can bring.
By Abdul Salam
He has recently co-authored: Deploying and Managing a Cloud Infrastructure: Real-World Skills for the CompTIA Cloud+ Certification (Wiley).