Cloud computing is one of those terms that is thrown around a lot, but I’ve found after talking to people they don’t actually know what it is and the many benefits that come from using this technology.
I’ve been working on Apple Macs since 2008 however, since I started with onPlatinum I found a new appreciation for PC’s and more importantly working “in the cloud”.
From a user’s perspective, initially, not much changes when you move to the cloud. You login to your computer and all your programs and files are there – just like they would be if you were working on a traditional stand-alone or networked PC.
However, when you dig a little deeper, you discover many additional benefits and I wanted to share some of them below.
If you are lucky enough to be able to work from home a few days per week or have to collect a sick child from school or daycare, the cloud is really handy. Walk out of the office, login to the cloud at home and keep going with the project you were working on. It’s exactly the same as if you were still in the office.
Your internet browser is open and all your files and emails are right there just as they were when you last logged off. And it doesn’t have to be an authorised company computer. Any computer or mobile device with internet access can become your work computer with everything you need.
When I work, I like to have multiple web browser tabs open. At times, I can have up to 15 tabs in one window and ten in another. It’s just how I work as I’m researching, using the thesaurus, and checking formatting.
Without the cloud, my tabs (and workflow) would be left on my work computer, meaning that working from home takes me extra time to get started.
However, with it, I login and all my tabs are open. Exactly where I left them, allowing me to get started exactly where I left off.
As my role is predominately writing for onPlatinum and our customers, I’m producing multiple documents each day. Each document needs to be checked and reviewed, often by people in different parts of the business.
The cloud removes the need to attach a document to the email and ending up with multiple copies of one file. Instead, I provide a link to the file in the email.
The file is stored in a shared folder, eliminating multiple copies and the confusion that it brings. Everyone is working on the same file. These files are accessible anytime you login to the cloud – they aren’t computer dependent.
Recently I needed to take my husband to an urgent specialist appointment. Because of the cloud, I experienced limited downtime. I was able to bring a laptop, login to the cloud and keep working.
Similarly, I arrived at work one morning but my usual desk was out of place and my computer’s cables were all unplugged, due to some weekend window cleaning. I simply logged into a colleague’s computer and started working – no time lost. When my desk was back in its usual spot, again no downtime was experienced as all my internet tabs, my email and even this article were where I left them when I closed the cloud on their computer and opened on mine.
When working on the cloud, your software comes with you. I can login to any computer or mobile device and access specialised software and programs. The cloud functionality is the same on both my work PC and my home Mac.
One of my biggest annoyances with not working on my computer is access to usernames and passwords that you have automatically stored in programs and online.
However, with the cloud, this doesn’t happen. All usernames and passwords remain saved and can be accessed from any computer when I login through my cloud account.
From a business owner’s perspective, the cloud offers genuine and measurable advantages in terms of productivity, time saving, collaboration and direct costs.
If you don’t have the cloud in your organisation, it’s certainly worth investigating.