Seven Ways You are Already Using the Cloud without Realizing It

You use your phone to check your most recent bank statement, and deposit checks. Then, you download the latest track from your favorite artist. Next, you open your contacts list and send a text message to your friend.

See, you are not on the fence about cloud technology. In fact, you use it every day across a variety of platforms. The convenience and low cost of storing your photos online, rather than in that drawer in the corner of grandma’s living room, makes the cloud a no brainer for everyday use. So why not implement it into your business model? Here is a list of some other ways that you are already using cloud technology in your day to day life without realizing it:

1. Email: If you’ve ever used Google Mail, Yahoo Mail or any other type of web-based email service, you’ve engaged in cloud computing. Those email services don’t save your email to your computer. Rather, it’s saved in the cloud, and you can access it from anywhere an Internet connection is available.

2. Social media: All of the social media marketing you’ve done on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest is stored in the cloud, on one of those company’s servers.

3. Banking: Do you remember the old pay day routine, where you would rushto the bank over lunch only to wait in line while all the other poor schleps would try to deposit their checks in time for the weekend? That’s why they call them the good old days.

4. Collaboration: Have you worked together on a project where you send Microsoft Word documents back and forth, editing them and trying to progress? The whole process is confusing, as oftentimes some revisions get overlooked in a sea of clutter. Cloud-based solutions, like Google Docs, WebEx, GoToMeeting and join.me offer employees the opportunity to collaborate in real-time, updating a shared document with ease. 

5. Remote access: Cloud-based manufacturing intelligence software—which brings together a variety of data for purposes of synthesis—allows you to get the information you need in real-time. 

6. Storage: Maybe you used to save old photo negatives or family videos. Mediafire, Sendspace and Dropbox, and others like them, are services that allow you to upload files to the cloud for storage and transfer purposes.

7. Traffic: Cloud technology is now helping drivers beat traffic. Google recently acquired the GPS navigational app, Waze. The Best Overall Mobile App 2013 winner, Waze crowd sources traffic speed and location data giving drivers to see traffic issues and identify faster routes based on real-time conditions. Add to that the ability to share data on speed traps and other road hazards and it’s easy to see why the cloud is such a powerful tool.

Cloud computing is becoming more accessible because it eliminates the headaches associated with managing hardware, software and data storage. Instead, a team of professional engineers and vendors are charged with that task. Business owners who are considering moving their enterprise into the cloud should find comfort in the fact that some of it is likely to be there already.

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