Jordan Benedet is a Manager on the Client Strategy and Innovation team at Social Media Group.
The “Cloud” is a word that is being frequently used by both companies and individuals. Corporate adoption is taking off, with small to medium businesses projected to spend $68 billion on cloud computing by 2014!
The Cloud is a buzz word right now, meaning people tend to use it very often, and sometimes out of context. The cloud can mean a variety of different things, such cloud computing, or cloud storage. Over the last couple of years, the cloud has continued to evolve as the use of mobile devices and tablets increased. The cloud isn’t just a backup system, but a method for syncing and sharing files, music, photos, and videos no matter where you are.
Consumer cloud storage is offered by many companies, such as, SugarSync, Dropbox, Box, and of course, Apple iCloud. They all offer similar functionality, both PC Mag and 9to5Mac have great comparisons for those who are interested. This post centres on consumer cloud storage, specifically SugarSync, and why I dig it.
Personal Use Case
Let’s go back to 2002, a time when the Euro was born, and Ja Rule was on top of the charts. I was in university and decided that I was going to buy my first digital camera, the Kodak LS420. “This thing is amazing!” I thought. Thinking back though, the camera was expensive, slow, had a terrible LCD, and an even worse white out flash – but it was mine (and it still works).
A few years passed, and thanks to my trusty Kodak, I built up quite an extensive collection of digital memories. Friends and family marvelled at how I could store so many pictures on my computer without having a scanner! Then it happened – my hard drive failed without warning. At the time I didn’t have a backup system for my precious data. I lost everything. Years of pictures, movies, and memory-sparking files were wiped out in seconds. Data recovery efforts failed, everything was gone.
It’s Just Easier with the Cloud
The problem I had would have been solved 100% by the cloud. Although I have accounts with the brands I previously mentioned, SugarSync is my primary platform. It allows me to sync important files or folders from my personal PC, work laptop, and mobile devices. Any changes made are automatically updated in the cloud. My pictures and movies would have been safely, and securely stored on remote servers, which could have been easily downloaded again once I fixed my computer.
File syncing also makes working remotely much more convenient. For example, I wake up sick and can’t make it to the office but I have a presentation that needs a few changes before it is due to a client. Solution? Download the backup from the cloud, edit, send, voila!
How many people do you know that have lost their cell phone, and along with it, all of their contacts? With the cloud, contacts can be stored and backed up wiht ease – I personally use Google Sync on my iPhone.
I’ve written about SmartTVs in a previous post called the Connect Evolution. The cloud is a new addition to SmartTV functionality with Samsung recently announcing native SugarSync support on any AllShare capable TV. Most big brands are sure to follow suit and offer their own TV cloud integration soon. Lenovo has also partnered with SugarSync, so their PCs and tablets will include cloud functionality out of the box.
iCloud has recently brought the term, and functionality to a mainstream audience. It’s only a matter of time when the cloud is no longer just a feature, but the expected norm.