There has been much speculation on the value of cloud computing, and of course with the recent exodus of users from Dropbox due to their Terms and Conditions now featuring some interesting words about people’s files no longer being completely theirs once uploaded to Dropbox’s cloud network, it seems that people are still experimenting to find a good fit.
Allow me to assure you – cloud computing really is a step in the right direction, and it’s not going anywhere at all, any time soon. Whether you’re storing an important client contract (learn how to encrypt within the cloud, if you do) or your VZW, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile or http://www.o2.co.uk/iphone (for all my UK foks) login details, you’ll soon find that it’s extremely convenient to have constant access to your files without the lengthier process of emailing them to yourself.
The most ingenious thing about it is the way in which it will change the way a small business without a server or a personal user works. If you no longer have to worry about on-site data management or the cost of buying a lot of server space or even a physically-present server, you’ll find that managing data suddenly becomes a drag-and-drop affair that means you’ll never mess up a presentation again, given you can simply log in via a browser (on most cloud sites) and download the file again right away.
A lot of people use remote desktop software simply to access data, and while that’s efficient enough, having a folder that syncs is great. It means you can step away from the practice of leaving a computer on while you’re out, or having to take a longer route – much like the avoidance of emailing yourself important files.
Finally, if you’re working on a group project and you’re familiar with Google Docs, then you’ll know that a business can really benefit from a centralized folder that’s not only accessible by all the desired users, but that if your web design lead is at home, they can still keep working without you having to spend half an hour attaching images and a change-list to an email – it’s already on their hard drive, from the moment you put it into the synced folder on yours. This can make version tracking more complex, but it’s a lot faster and less messy for those who prefer to work from one document with a few backups to hand. Definitely a step in the right direction.