The term “Cloud computing” sounds intangible, and that’s just the point.
“Cloud computing” refers to access to software that is accessible via subscription over the Internet. Programs that reside in the Cloud are actually housed on the servers of the company that owns the software and which provides subscription access. Unlike traditional software, such as word processing or spreadsheet programs that are stored on your computer’s hard drive, programs that reside in the Cloud never have to be installed, updated or uninstalled from your computer. That’s the beauty of the “Cloud.”
Why would you want your software to be housed on the Cloud? Several good reasons come to mind:
- You don’t have to install the program, so you can use software that requires greater speed or memory than your desktop or laptop might possess.
- Because the software is stored on the Cloud, it doesn’t hog memory or bog down your computer.
- You don’t have to worry about updating the software; the tech staff at the company providing the software takes care of doing that.
- Since you access the software via the Internet (and a secure password), you can access your software (and possibly your related files) from any computer, anywhere you have an Internet connection.
- Since your access is via subscription (usually monthly or annually), your costs are much less than if you were to purchase a private license for the program.
- When you no longer want or need the software, cancel the subscription. There is no software to uninstall on your computer.
- If there’s a problem with the software, your subscription includes access to technical support. It’s the provider’s responsibility to fix the bugs, and you don’t have to download patches or new versions.
Starting to see the appeal? Cloud computing programs offer extremely flexible access to powerful programs without the hassles of maintaining the software on your own computer. If you’ve ever suffered through a lengthy software download (especially one that needed to be done over several times), you’ll understand the appeal of being able to “visit” your software instead of needing to have it all on your hard drive.
Excerpted from 30 Days to Virtual Productivity Success by Gail Martin. Order this book at http://amzn.com/1601632266