One of the interesting things about the cloud is how it has quietly pervaded most people’s lives. Australians have used the cloud for years now and still aren’t aware of it. Even the Australian government is getting in on the act and utilising cloud technologies. At this point, the cloud has moved beyond the cool phase and is something everyone is using.
Yet small- and mid-sized business owners have some trepidation when it comes to adopting cloud technology. Research from the Australia Bureau of Statistics noted that less than 20 percent of all companies operating in the country utilised paid cloud services. Naturally, you would think there was a good reason for the decision to not embrace cloud technology; but that is not the case. Of the businesses not using the cloud; 59 percent claimed there was no reason in particular stopping them. Instead, they just weren’t using it.
That is in spite of the fact that using the cloud can do everything from help an SMB stay operational during a disaster to allowing employees to stay connected from anywhere in world. So, why isn’t cloud computing getting any love from small business owners? We here at Empower IT believe it’s due to insufficient knowledge. If a person ate pizza every day but didn’t know what it was, it would be impossible for them to order it on their own.
Similarly, business owners who may not understand how prevalent and helpful cloud services are in their daily life are less likely to see the benefits of using it elsewhere. With that in mind, here are 6 ways the cloud impacts everyday life.
1.) Social Media
Chances are you have some form of social media. Facebook is the most popular outlet, with more than 15 million Australian users. A few other social media platforms include Instagram, with five million users; and LinkedIn, with 3.8 million profiles. Even Tinder, the latest and greatest dating app, is estimated to have two million users in Australia. Long story short, all social media applications use the cloud in one way or another. When you upload a photo to Facebook and Instagram, it is stored in the cloud. Some applications are in fact cloud-based themselves. And no one can argue that social media hasn’t impacted the way everyday life is lived these days.
Before the cloud, we were stuck only being able to watch what was shown on television or to listen to what was aired on radio. And while you may be nostalgic for those days, the fact remains that the cloud has revolutionised how entertainment is delivered to us. Netflix Australia and Foxtel Play let us watch whatever show we want on demand, while music-streaming services like Apple Play give us the freedom to listen to our favourite songs. What all these have in common is this: they use the cloud to deliver us content.
Ever wonder how Amazon knows what to recommend to you or how it can offer one-click buying that ensures you don’t need to find your credit card before making a purchase? The answer is simple. They place all this information in the cloud so it can be called upon every time you sign in. Most online retailers use the cloud in one way or another to store details that make completing future purchases easier.
One of the more cutting-edge ways the cloud is used in daily life has to do with healthcare. Apple Watch users, for example, can have their device record specific information such as their heart rate or number of calories burned each day. This data is stored in the cloud where it is accessed by a physician who can monitor the health of the patient. Additionally, some doctor’s offices have established cloud-based patient portals where important health data and a host of other information are accessible.
These days students have schooling alternatives that most of us could only dream of. Universities now offer online courses across the country with some degrees being available entirely through Internet learning. The information, lessons and other materials utilised are stored in the cloud, giving students access to requested data anytime, anywhere. It should also be noted that primary and secondary schools are also adopting cloud technology in various ways such as by replacing textbooks and using programs like Microsoft Office 365 to save on software licensing.
6.) Personal storage
If you use an iPhone, chances are your photos are being stored on iCloud. If you have ever needed to share a large file with a friend, you probably sent it via Dropbox or Sendspace. If you use a personal Gmail or Hotmail email service, the information from these are stored on Google’s or Microsoft’s cloud servers. In fact, cloud storage has become so pervasive that most people don’t realise they use it. This is why it is ironic to hear people claiming to have never used the cloud. The reality is that if you have used any form of free email, you have used the cloud.
Director of Empower IT Salim Sukari says, “It really is impossible to avoid the cloud. It has become so prevalent in daily life that it exists and is used without us even knowing it. Many of everyday life’s conveniences are in one way or another connected to cloud technology. Yet, many small businesses don’t always equate this prevalence in everyday life to its business potential. However, once you understand how the cloud has improved daily life, it is easy to see how this technology can improve the way an SMB operates.”
The team at Empower IT are experts in all things cloud related. We have assisted countless Australian SMBs in cloud migrations that have allowed them to get more done while saving money in the process. If you want to know more about how your company can benefit from the cloud, why not give us a call and schedule a FREE consultation today?