Technology is moving so fast that it seems like only the very smart and the very young can keep up with all that’s taking place. We’ve gone through social media and have accepted that a common platform for communication and sharing. Now, it looks as though we’re going through another mini tech revolution, the evolvement from email as a means of primary communication and document distribution to cloud computing.
A few years ago, we started hearing the phrase, “cloud computing.” I was reluctant about it and didn’t rush to get the latest information about it, nor did I rush out there to acquire cloud space. There’s just something I like about having my stuff on my hard drive, even though the biggest of hard drives do fill up and they can also crash. Everyone needs his or her important documents backed up, even if only on a flash drive. When transitioning to a new computer, there are programs that will assist you in doing this, but there are also the versatile flash drives, most of which contain eight gigs of space.
Now that I have just purchased a new combination laptop/tablet that’s running Windows 8, I have cloud storage available to me. I was first exposed to cloud storage when I purchased by Kindle Fire. The books I then purchased were downloaded to the device, but were also kept on the cloud. If I didn’t want the book on my device, I could delete it off of my device, but it would still remain on the cloud. Music was automatically downloaded to the cloud, but I could choose to download any music to my device. I think it’s better to have as much music on your device as possible because you can listen to it without being online and using up your minutes. For books, keep them in the cloud and download only the one that you’re currently reading. When you’re finished, upload it. I also experienced real cloud computing with a former employer who purchased Google Apps. Part of Google Apps was Google Drive, a file sharing piece. You could prepare documents, spreadsheets, etc. on your hard drive and upload to Google Drive; or could prepare your file while sitting in the cloud. Also, you could share these documents with others who might need to see them. You could also give folks who you shared with, editing privileges. All versions of the document were maintained by Google Drive. No more emailing documents or putting documents in a shared network drive.
With Windows 8 and the smaller laptops and laptop/tablet combinations, cloud computing is coming to us all and we’re going to be forced to use it whether we like it or not. The smaller laptops and laptop/tablet combinations have less hard drive space, so you just might need that 5 gig cloud to store stuff such as your documents and photos. The sharing feature allows you to share your documents with others. This is especially good for storing photos. You can share with friends and they can view the photos online at their leisure; or not view them and tell you they did. J Also, this could very well do away with the other photo sharing applications out there.
Having said all of the above, it is my opinion that in the next year or so, text messaging will replace short emails with no attachments. Word documents, spread sheets, photos, Visio documents, etc. will be uploaded or created in the cloud and shared with other users. Of course, the freebie DriveOne that comes with Windows 8 and can be put on other devices will not have the capabilities of the much more robust Google Drive.
For a meeting for a small organization where the secretary can take minutes in whatever application he or she chooses. Before the next meeting, the minutes can be loaded into the cloud and shared with the rest of the membership who can read them before the meeting. At the meeting, the members can access the minutes with their smart phones or tablets. If any changes are to be made, the secretary can make them on the spot.
This, of course, is being done a lot, but it sure would be nice of the few organizations to which I belong would adopt this simple process.