An Email from yourself, a pocket full of thumb drives and an external hard drive brimming with music files: this is how computer users used to store data. Now, with increasing options for online file storage, businesses are capable of having offices that don’t have a single filing cabinet. It makes sense that cloud computing, or storing data on remote Internet servers instead of in house, has finally arrived. With the rise of social media, people have already been storing more and more of their lives online. Pictures, videos and written content have all been uploaded for the sake of “sharing.” It makes perfect sense that professional tools were the next step. The benefits are many.

Cost Effective
According to the American Small Business League (ABSL) about 98% of businesses have less than 100 employees. Small companies like this cannot afford all of the commitments that an in house data organization system would provide. This lays them even more victim to large companies with endless budgets that can produce their own software. Cloud computing is a great equalizer. Instead of having to develop their own system, businesses as well as individuals can use a highly customizable cloud computing network. Programs like SharePoint can be set-up in a company for a fee and be the command center for any and all information, leaving the company’s website open for only external relations. Simpler services like Dropbox and Google Docs are completely free but equally as user friendly.

Multi-platform Protection
With your information stored on the Internet instead of on a single device, accessing it is a breeze. Instead of having to lug data storage systems with you, all someone needs is an internet connection and log-in info. It’s easy to understand how cloud computing could make data more assessable, but it can also make it more secure. Cloud computing removes the need for a company to store sensitive information on hard drives across their office. Instead, it would be stored in just one place.

Getting Social
One of the best things about the internet integration of cloud computing is that much of it becomes social. Services like Gmail and SharePoint have an instant messaging system built in. They even have users develop profiles and customize status updates. Additionally, services like Spotify allow users to build a playlist with songs and access it anywhere. One can even link it to Facebook in order to send songs or playlists to their friends.

On the Go
The mobility of storage makes things simpler when it comes to file sharing but it also strengthens collaboration from afar. Before cloud computing technology, someone would have to hold a meeting in a conference room to discuss a spreadsheet with an outside party. Now, all parties can view it at the same time. This opens up new opportunities for remote workers. Being able to work from anywhere in an office or not in an office at all can help small businesses that are short on space. Having a few less people thrown into the daily commute isn’t bad of the environment either.

Think Green
The expansive online file storing and sharing that cloud computing provides will make a positive environmental impact