Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
Businesses everywhere nowadays are using the Cloud. Unfortunately, it isn’t some new magical and mystical energy found in the sky. The Cloud is a network of servers that can help do the job of your computer or phone for you.
The Cloud is believed to be more secure than your average home computer, which is why many choose to store information and documents on it (if your computer was to be stolen, the thief wouldn’t be able to access them as they wouldn’t on the actual computer but instead many hundreds of miles away in a server somewhere). Several apps also operate off the Cloud, which basically prevents your phone from storing all the information. Here are some creative ways to make the most of the Cloud.
Embedding videos: Cloud-based player JW Player has provided a great alternative to YouTube and Vimeo for anyone who regularly embeds promotional videos onto their website. These can allow you to dodge the logos and restrictions of YouTube and Vimeo, although certain rules may apply.
Storing mail: For those with an overflowing inbox, there are ways of sending all your emails to the Cloud to free up storage. I’ve also been experimenting with Cloud software that can scan my mail as well as storing it.
Translating Languages: A number of cloud-based solutions exist for translating not just text but voice too. When working with someone internationally language may no longer be a barrier in the future.
Real-time maps: Several apps have been developing real-time maps using the Cloud, for a GPS system that is always up to the minute. Such apps are able to tell you best routes to take to avoid traffic as well pinpointing the busiest pubs and restaurants in your area to avoid waiting time.
Brainstorming ideas: The Cloud’s ability to share and edit documents in real-time means that two or more people are able to brainstorm together whilst on the phone from different locations. This can be especially helpful when coming up with a design or logo, something that you might otherwise both have to be in the room for.
Remote support: Setting up an expensive shared network no longer ought to be an option in offices. With everyone working off the Cloud, you no longer have to wait to get into a document because someone else already has it open. Everyone can share and edit information at will. This can have many useful implications, for example, if a trainee in the office is having trouble working on a spreadsheet, someone on the complete opposite side of the office can assist without even having to leave their chair.
Creating an endless music playlist: Not a business-related use, but one still worth noting! The limitless storage of the Cloud means you no longer have to rely on the memory of your iPod or phone. Store all your music on the Cloud for an endless on-the-go playlist.