“The cloud” is a term that has come to mean something else over the last few years. Maybe you learned about types of clouds in third-grade science—cumulus, cirrus, and similar hard-to-pronounce names. But today, “the cloud” refers to something entirely different… something that’s not visible in the sky. Here’s everything you need to know about what the cloud is and what it’s used for, plus a few myths debunked.
The cloud is actually a pretty simple concept: it refers to software and services that are on the Internet, not on your specific computer. Google Drive, Dropbox, and Yahoo Mail are all consumer cloud services—and you can access them through any device or web browser, as long as you’ve got Internet. If you store your photos from last summer’s family vacation in the cloud, they’ll be safe even if your computer or phone crashes. Plus, moving photos to the cloud will free up more storage space on your device.
This is not a perfect solution: when you store information in the cloud, it’s more vulnerable to being hacked, accessed by people who shouldn’t have access to your information. But it’s fairly easy to stay safe—just protect your passwords and don’t store any information that’s private or sensitive. For the information you do choose to store, consider encrypting your files by using a compression software to zip files and create a password for each one. This means your information is doubly safe.
There are several myths surrounding the cloud. For instance, many people think that since the cloud is now an option, they should automatically use it for everything. In reality, though, there are still some work tasks that are best done sans cloud. Businesses might think moving to the cloud will save them money, but again, this isn’t necessarily true.
If you’re a business owner looking to integrate your team’s work, a cloud management platform such as Meraki cloud management could be a great choice. A cloud management platform is simply a set of software tools that lets an organization control multiple cloud-based resources in one place.
In the end, it seems the cloud isn’t that mysterious after all. Which is good news—because the cloud is the future.