When you are using the cloud it means that you can access your programs and data over the Internet as opposed to your hard drive. Simply put, you can not see the cloud so it is not tangible in your proximity. The most commonly used cloud solution is webmail – such as Gmail.
The major advantage with using the cloud is that you can access your files or software from anywhere in the world on any device. Previously we were restricted to what we had on our machine, on a floppy disk or a CD/DVD. Now we can save our memory on our computers for things we need to save and work on locally.
You may of also heard of SaaS – this is software-as-a-service. This means the entire service is hosted in the cloud, some good examples are Canva, Netflix and Dropbox. Within the workplace there is also Platform-as-a-service where a business can create its own custom applications that can be accessed by all its network. Lastly there is Infrastructure-as-a-service such as Amazon (Cloud services) and Google.
Trivial fact – nearly 14 million people in Australia aged 18 years and older had actively used cloud computer services in the past six months. That’s about 80 per cent of the adult population (2014 Australian Communications and Media Authority). They also found about 55 per cent of the total population had heard of cloud computing, and only 26 per cent of active cloud computer users were aware they had used the cloud!