36. What is Cloud Computing?

The cloud as it is popularly known is an internet platform with a difference. And the difference is that it is a fully equipped platform. Imagine having your computer remotely accessible from everywhere.

Traditionally, we would purchase hardware like a PC and install some software like accounting software, word processor, excel sheets, presentation creators etc on it. Thus the software and the hardware which make your computer or laptop come together to help you accomplish your tasks, be it at home or office.

With cloud computing, the software and hardware which stores and runs the software are on a server and accessible through an Internet connection. What this means is that you can create, edit, share and most importantly access your files and folders from anywhere using the power of cloud computing.

Most people aren’t aware, but they are already using cloud computing. Think, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, Flicker, Instagram etc. They are email clients working for you in the cloud (internet).

In other words, instead of making use of your personal computer to carry out your work, you now make use of the computing abilities of the cloud. This is called Cloud Computing. For example, instead of installing an expensive word processor, you can now use Google Docs. The list just goes on and on.

So in short, “Cloud” allows you to securely store your files and folders, allows you to access, edit and share them from anywhere you are with just an internet connection. All you need is a web enabled device with a browser and you are all set to work.

Here are just some advantages of using Cloud computing are:

You don’t need to install any software’s or additional hardware on your personal computer. All the software’s that you need are installed on the Cloud to allow you to make use of them. This also means that you don’t have to worry about different versions of the software, or hardware compatibility or maintenance issues as everything runs on the Cloud from your browser.

It is very easy to use and doesn’t need you to be a computer geek. This helps you to be quick to get up and running with all your work. You can start by creating to do lists, send messages, upload files etc... in the matter of minutes.

Cloud computing is very low on investment and very cost effective. Instead of paying for expensive software, and the hardware that is required to run it, using Cloud computing becomes the best choice as you often pay a very small subscription fee. Often time you get to use free for life versions of the software, which means you pay only for what you use or pay nothing at all.