Despite the fact that cloud computing is part of countless smartphone and desktop applications that are used by millions of people on a daily basis, this technology is often a difficult concept for newbies and non-tech-savvy folks to digest.
However, if you set aside the technical details, cloud computing becomes easy to understand. And given its continued growth, it will become more affordable and accessible for everyone in the coming years.
Before we dive into examples of common usage, it’s important to note that much of the cloud computing space is defined as Software as a Service (SaaS), an application distribution model where users only pay for their actual usage of data and services.
Often, SaaS products are partially free, but the software availability is limited—like in the case of file hosting services that typically provide users with limited space for storing data. Unfortunately, there’s no universal definition for these types of services, which is a big reason why the myriads of meanings and use cases commonly create confusion. To help facilitate the understanding of the concept, here’s a list of five practical uses of cloud computing that frequently happen in everyday life—some that many of us use without even knowing!
1 – Video streaming platforms
We use on-demand streaming services for watching sports, television, movies, and even live events, among other things. They’re all based entirely on the development of cloud computing technology. The end-users benefit from affordable services even though providers use expensive hardware and software in their processes. That’s possible through fragmenting the service so that anyone can afford it. In this case, we’re looking at several servers that cooperate to facilitate streaming services. They also have recovery technologies to correct any transmission errors, maintain a consistent video stream (and keep it synchronized in real-time), and so on.
2 – File hosting services
As mentioned, most storage services that are designed to store data and create backup copies are based on the cloud model. This makes it possible to upload and download files, which enable users to access and control file systems remotely, as well as synchronize files in real-time across multiple devices. The possibility of synchronizing data, moreover, is one of the most appreciated features by users who travel and need to have their documents and business data up-to-date at all times.
3 – Secure storage of personal data
Here we have apps that memorize and store passwords, which can synchronize data through cloud servers.
Providers have multiple solutions to guarantee security, depending on the service.
Most often, they rely on strong cryptography (also called end-to-end), which ensures that no one but the owner has access to the passwords.
4 – Backup solutions for systems, sites, and software
Most of the systems used for backup (like making backup copies necessary for recovering data) are now based on cloud computing. The cloud almost entirely eliminates the need for repetitive manual backup operations (which is absolutely essential for all systems). Most platforms currently provide various features that help users plan and automatically create secure backup copies regularly and with no effort. In this case, cloud computing allows end-users to save significant working hours in a year.
5 – Chatbots
As we’ve said in a previous article, cloud computing, together with advanced algorithms, can create interactive chatbots. It’s a cost-effective tool that enables companies to enhance sales funnels and upgrade online assistance services to become automated and easier to manage. A chatbot has the ability, through direct communication with a virtual operator, to anticipate the questions of a potential customer. Moreover, it can direct users toward the right answer, which can be an FAQ page, a specific business proposal, or the classic Contact us page, where they can get in touch with the sales department.