The interesting thing about cloud computing is that we’ve redefined cloud computing to include everything that we already do. … The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women’s fashion. Maybe I’m an idiot, but I have no idea what anyone is talking about. What is it? It’s complete gibberish. It’s insane. When is this idiocy going to stop?” Larry Ellison, September, 2008
Perhaps Mr. Ellison was right. Perhaps cloud-computing was gibberish, insane, and idiotic. I am probably safe in saying he was wrong. Mr. Ellison was wrong to underestimate the growing power and popularity of the cloud.
What is Cloud Computing?
It is, in very loose terms, a user has access to more applications, storage, services outside the physical device. The advantages of cloud computing for businesses include expanding the capabilities within IT, production, and operations without investing in the infrastructure.
For simple purposes, cell phones use cloud computing to store music, apps, and emails. The population has used cloud-computing and cloud-apps for years but didn’t know or understand the real potential until now.
The potential of cloud computing is enormous. Business and society in general is on the move. Our culture has become mobile with the expanded use of tablets, cell phones, Wi-fi, smart watches, even Google Glasses. Cloud computing is here to stay and will grow stronger as the consumer demands more accessibility and options.
Let’s examine Google Chrome, starting with My Drive. My Drive is a platform, outside your computer, that allows the creation, storage, and sharing of documents. Additionally, My Drive includes calendars, news, email, etc. Of course, Google products drive traffic to Google and keep it there – pretty smart. The product, however, is finely developed and perhaps the first introduction to cloud-based computing for many.
Let’s visit the Google Chrome Store for a moment look at the extended capabilities of cloud-based computing for the business and person.
Something for Everyone in Cloud Apps
Looks like something for everyone here, doesn’t it? So cloud-based computing is not just for the business person but applies to all ages.
Looking at the business offerings on Google Chrome is interesting. I have added some of the apps to my account to try. At the moment I am looking for scheduling platforms the customer can use and help desk solutions.
Let’s see what Google Chrome has to offer in these areas.
Cloud Applications for Business
As you can see, the sampling is diverse. It is best to read the descriptions and reviews for each application. Some are free, others charge a fee, and some offer a free trial. The free trial is a good method to sample the application for a good fit. A few apps “connect” to the real software while other apps function autonomously. Read the descriptions thoroughly so you do not waste time on an app that will not work for you or you are not willing to pay for.
I am trying “Schedule Once” because I would like to use an application that allows customers to schedule service calls that link to technician calendars. My first impression of this application is positive. I am giving the 14 day free trial a go and linking with company calendars.
It’s All in the Cloud
Mr. Ellison may have misspoken in 2008 when he downplayed Cloud Computing and Applications. It appears Cloud computing and cloud applications offerings are increasing daily to meet the needs and demands of the home and business consumer. It expands options for computing power with new applications, more storage, integration, and connectivity between apps.
Selectivity is critical while reviewing apps for business use. The options are increasing and will continue to do so; it is a best practice to focus on your areas of need i.e. productivity, time management, sales management, CRM, etc. and review from there. Try a few and if they do not meet your needs try others.
Understanding you customer and employee needs is also important while looking for cloud-apps. If you clients would benefit from “Chat Now” features on your web page it is advisable to place focus in that area.