You must’ve heard of the cloud… Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, DropBox, are all examples of websites that store things in the “cloud.” The cloud is simply a place to store your files.
The cloud is quite simple actually. There are two versions of the cloud: hosted, and on premise (though, only enterprises use the latter)
These two versions describe where your files are stored. In the hosted model, the servers are stored on the originating company’s server. (Central Computer, in simple terms)… for example, Google, or Microsoft.
In some enterprise solutions, the server is on-site so that all files are secure and maintained locally. This is most times cost prohibitive for smaller companies but great for enhanced security in high-level enterprises.
The cloud carries multiple benefits including, backup, sync among devices, and easy sharing.
Traditionally, you store files on your desktop or My Documents. However, if you utilize the cloud to store your files, you upload them to a service provider you choose (ex. Google Drive, OneDrive, DropBox). Once you upload them there, the company will spread your files across many different servers offering redundancy. The added benefit here is that if you lose your laptop, it crashes, or you get a virus, your files are safely backed up in the cloud. You can easily retrieve them, unlike the traditional method.
If you use the cloud, you can create a document on your computer, finish it halfway, and open in on your phone to complete it. Also, you can open it on your tablet to edit it also. Your work will automatically sync update across all of your device without any extra work.
Example: You have a business report due in 2 days and your co-worker has gone on vacation and you need to ask them a question about it… What do you do? With the cloud, you can email them the document and see his/her changes happening live. The don’t need specialized software and he/she doesn’t need to attach it to email to send it back to you. Also, it could be used for live collaboration because all the changes are synced live.