The cloud may feel like it’s everywhere, but for a lot of people, that doesn’t make it any easier to use. As the popularity of cloud computing has exploded among individuals and businesses in the past few years, so has its capabilities. The number of cloud providers has multiplied, and the market has grown bigger than ever before. Despite the widespread availability of the cloud, many people are still trying to figure out how best to utilize it and make it work for them. With the cloud constantly evolving, this task is more difficult than it may seem. Whether you’re theowner of a small business or simply wish to use the cloud for personal hobbies and projects, the cloud can prove to be exceptionally helpful, provided you know how to take advantage of its many features. The following are just a few suggestions on how you can make the cloud work for you.
1. Enhance Collaboration
As the old saying goes, two heads are better than one. If you have a special project, it helps to get input and advice from others, and few pieces of technology contribute to that end quite like cloud computing. Applications located on the cloud allow for more efficient collaboration among multiple parties by enhancing communication and organization. The cloud helps to connect people and teams working on similar projects, allowing for more cooperation among different team members. Even if you’re not part of a team, you can still get feedback from others that have the same interests and expertise. The more people collaborate, the better the end result usually is.
2. Storing and Syncing Files
One of the most common uses of cloud computing is for storage purposes. Almost every cloud provider -- Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, etc. -- offers some storage for free, and any amount over that free limit is usually for cheap, especially as vendors keep slashing prices. If you’re unfamiliar with the cloud, using it for storage is an easy way to figure it out and get it working for you. At the same time, one of the convenient uses for cloud computing is in how it can sync the files you’ve stored on the cloud to all your devices. That means you can access the same files and documents no matter if you’re at your home desktop or using your smartphone or tablet while out and about. You can also use cloud applications and systems from almost any device as well. The cloud’s storage capabilities also make for a good backup for all your files in case the worst should happen to your primary storage methods.
3. Improve Social Capabilities
Similar to the first point, the cloud has the ability to connect individuals in ways never thought of before. One of the most common methods now found on the cloud is through customer relationship management (CRM) tools, which help you organize interactions with current and prospective customers. CRM is proving to be an indispensable tool for businesses both large and small. Even if you’re not interested in using the cloud for business purposes, you can still use it to consolidate your contactsfrom your email, social media pages, and other resources. In fact, one of the major driving forces behind social media is cloud computing. Keeping communities connected across the world is one major way you can make the cloud an effective tool.
4. Expanding Scope
With all the current applications available on the cloud, and more being created every day, businesses now have access to capabilities they haven’t had before. That makes smaller businesses able to compete with their larger rivals. The cloud provides all these capabilities at a relatively low cost, allowing companies and individuals to expand their scope, reaching more people and becoming more productive than they would be without the cloud. Effective utilization of the cloud in this way does require somebusiness understanding of its functions, but compared to purchasing and running your own infrastructure, cloud computing is a much more viable option.
Cloud computing is only a tool, albeit a tool with man different functions. Figuring out the best ways to make the tool work for you requires practice and patience. Though it may take a while, starting small and eventually growing into it will help you better take advantage of all that the cloud has to offer. By working diligently with the cloud, you’ll be able to understand more and increase everything you’re capable of as well.