The cloud has become an integral part of most businesses – in fact, 95 percent of businesses use the cloud in some form. However, what many people don’t realise is that cloud isn’t only for businesses. We use the cloud almost every day, sometimes without even knowing it. In its simplest terms, “cloud computing” means storing and accessing data and programmes over the internet, instead of on your computer’s hard drive. How it works is that companies-cloud service providers- have the physical infrastructure that supports computing, that we pay for access over the internet. Cloud is cheaper, faster, and is the future of the internet, as companies the world over move their services to the cloud, here are a few of them.
Social media is the book that lets us share our life stories with others, but have you ever thought about where all the information you post online is stored. Well, social media sites act as repositories of information on the internet and to store data without slowing down the sites, the cloud comes into play. This is what enables us to play online games such as Zynga or even livestream your beloved trips to the beach.
Online Storage and file sharing
It is common for businesses to store their information on the internet, but this is not a privilege accorded to them only, anyone can do it. It is not only convenient but also takes away the risk of losing information because of carelessness. Cloud storage is like using the internet instead of a memory stick. Instead of loading up a little device with files, only to forget to bring it with you, cloud storage services like One Drive lets you upload your files directly to the internet. You can then access these files – be they documents, photos or music – from any device, anywhere.
For most CCTV cameras you see, including the traffic cameras on our highways, the amounts of data captured are ridiculously high-hours and hours of film. That information can’t always be stored on physical devices and most companies backup their surveillance footage in the cloud. In addition, cloud backups are growing useful by the day as businesses move online. Sites like Jumia, Amazon, Kilimall, back up-on the cloud-customer data captured when you are browsing; information that is used to make recommendations (in line with your interests) the next time you log into their sites.
Web-based email services
According to the IDC, 80 percent of smartphone users check their phone within 15 minutes of waking up. One of the reasons for this is web-based email services that allow you to receive, send and store information via the internet or native smartphone apps. This is possible through the cloud, allowing you to access your email from any device anywhere, additionally; services like Office 365 enable access to your Outlook mailbox, without even logging into a website or downloading an app.
Betting in Kenya has grown tremendously, penetrating even into rural areas. Services have expanded to include live betting, which is the ability to place a bet when a game is ongoing and possible via cloud computing through companies like Bet 365, and Betin etc. The computers of the betting companies use cloud computing to simultaneously receive and process data from live matches for you to bet, and this requires heavy computing power. Thus, when you are busy following a football match while seamlessly betting, remember the cloud is at work.
Without even noticing, you have probably implemented the cloud into your routines of communicating, working, sharing and even relaxing. The cloud already plays a huge role in our personal daily lives. Just imagine its impact on business.
Here is an infographic by Sebuh Haileleul, Country GM Microsoft East & Southern Africa on how we are using cloud.