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The cloud is everywhere: how we're using it and why it's the future

The cloud has made the digital world more interconnected and accessible than ever before. But what is it used for exactly

The cloud is making your life awesome.

And you probably don’t even know it. It’s behind your favourite social media apps, technologies such as AIs and super-functional programmes including Google Drive, Dropbox and the iCloud. Not only this, through services such as cloud gaming, it makes the best quality tech available to all - so as long as you have an internet connection, you can play games on an incredible cloud computer across any device.

So what is the cloud, exactly?

It has a couple of definitions. Firstly, clouds are those white fluffy things you sometimes see in the sky. But in this context - the context of the wonderful world of tech - the cloud refers to remote centres where you can run software and services through the internet.

Who uses it?

Well… you do, for one. With many of the world’s major corporations and services having incorporated cloud computing into their offering - with over 90% of companies projected to adopt an intensively multi-cloud environment by 2024 - we’d wager you’re using at least three cloud-based applications a day, such as... Netflix. Netflix migrated all of its information to the cloud years ago to offer a more streamlined service, so that it wouldn’t buckle under the pressure of millions of users.

Log onto your phone, and at a glance, you’ll see apps and media that you use daily that require the cloud to survive. And with the upcoming 5G it even becomes more interesting.

Two of the biggest culprits are Facebook and Instagram, which save the photos and information you upload via the cloud. And those personalised ads and suggestions you see while shopping online? Those are due to information from your purchase history stored in the cloud by companies such as Amazon and Etsy.

Yep. Everybody’s using it - and innovating with it, too. Revolutionary AIs such as Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant, that have fundamentally changed the way we interact with technology, create personalised customer experiences and interactions based on - you guessed it - information that’s locked down in the cloud. (It’s the cloud’s world. We’re just living in it.)

But will the cloud stick around?

That rhyme was intentional, and yes, we’re sure the cloud’s future is secure. Not only is it vital for the growth of the “Internet of Things” (in which everyday objects, like fridges, are equipped with internet technology to make them more functional - hence the birth of the smart fridge), it’s also a huge contributor to emerging practices like the blockchain movement and quantum computing, which will, among other things, support breakthroughs in medical science. With its finger on the cusp of so many world-changing technologies, then, we’d be willing to bet that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

Are we heading towards a cloud-based future?

The cloud is helping businesses, from people to businesses both big and small, to thrive. It’s making everyday actions, like collaborating on the same documents and working on the move, easier, while costs for bigger corporations are much lower as they don’t have to run their own data farms. It’s much easier for companies to increase the scale of their services, too, due to the cloud’s seemingly limitless storage space.

There’s no arguing that it’s changed the face of how we do business (and how we go about our day-to-day) - but we think it’s set to go even further. If the cloud keeps progressing as it is, the very infrastructure of our digital landscape will become a lot more fluid, providing the foundation for innovations such as smart elevators, driverless cars and robot waiters. Are you ready?