The future of computing won't be determined inside your desktop, laptop, or even your tablet. It will be up in the clouds. Not the clouds in the sky, but the ones stored on computer servers around the world.
Cloud computing refers to any service or software that is delivered over a network rather than from a personal computer or electronic device. That might sound a little complicated, but in practice, it's quite simple. Imagine you have a huge collection of photographs, and you don't want to transfer them to your new computer. Just upload them to a storage service in the cloud and forget about it. You'll be able to download them whenever you want in the future.
What about the hassle of synchronizing a personal calendar between your smartphone and two laptops? Cloud computing has an answer. You can simply host your calendar in the cloud. As if cloud computing wasn't amazing enough, cloud gaming is also in development. In the near future, you'll be able to stream most video games from the Internet without even having to install them on your computer.
Cloud computing will also revolutionize business. Before, companies always had to operate their own Internet networks. Lots of money would go into upgrading hardware and software in order to keep up with modern technology. But cloud computing offers these companies an appealing alternative. Cloud-based applications don't just save money on equipment costs; they also help employees increase their productivity by enabling them to work on smartphones and tablets. Cloud computing is particularly appealing to small businesses, because it provides all of the advantages of complex networks without the high capital costs.
Cloud computing is the most exciting technological innovation since the Internet, and it's growing in popularity every year. Forty percent of small businesses in the United States used cloud-based applications in 2012, which is up from just 10% in 2009. Cloud computing offers greater accessibility, reduced costs, up-to-date software, and better project management capabilities. The question we will be asking now is, "Who isn't using cloudbased applications?"