Is your head in the cloud? It should be.

http://www.digital-cameras-help.com/clouds.html?id=4

Long thought of as a sight, to tell daydreamers to comeback to by “getting your head out of the cloud” – advertising and marketing people may want to put their heads back in and have a look around.

For our purposes, a cloud is a metaphorical off site data backup that stores personal data and information.  Cloud computing has been in the works for over a decade, yet there still so much information floating that it makes it hard for companies to decipher what it is (Ulander, 2012). One thing for sure is that cloud creates a seamless connection from all of your devices making all of your information accessible anywhere. It literally brings the whole world to your fingertips.

http://images.businessweek.com/ss/09/06/0604_cloud_computing/3.htm

The way people compute is evolving as technology advances and consumers are spending more time online. One popular trend is the use of cloud based computing within a company to streamline internal processes. For example, Avon recently launched an internal cloud based computing system in an effort “increase the sales and efficiency of Avon’s distribution system” (Hamm, 2012).  This system will be utilized by 150,000 sales representatives as well as accessible via smartphone and PC (Hamm, 2012). Not only does a system like this integrate the company’s system, it also is cost effective. I’d say that’s a win-win for any company.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/apple/details-emerge-on-apples-icloud-strategy/10222

Another rising movement is the creation of personal clouds. Apple’s iCloud is a great example of how a company can capitalize off of creating personal clouds. Not only has Apple been able to generate direct revenue from storing their user’s content, they are also able to market other products within the cloud and create a more meaningful brand experience. They market their iCloud service with a simple emphasis that it is “automatic and effortless” (Apple, n.d.). Since the information stored is available everywhere you go, it encourages the use of more Apple products and a continual connection to the Apple brand.

Apple has maximized this new technology and brought its usefulness into reality as an excellent business solution. Now other major companies (for example, HP and IBM) are attempting to follow in their footsteps because they have realized that the cloud is changing everything.

Based on current theory, developing a cloud strategy is becoming a necessity to stay relevant in today’s market. Ulander’s (2012) advice is to learn “from others who have already built highly scalable, successful clouds that have helped them transform the way they deliver and consume IT resources”.  Because the cloud has endless interpretations and possibilities, each company has to come to an understanding of what the cloud shift means for them.

It’s hard for consumers and companies alike to know where to begin and to not to feel like their head is in the cloud in the information. This just goes to show more research is needed to fully understand the implications of this new technology and how it can be best utilized.

Apple. (n.d.). iCloud. Retrieved from http://www.apple.com/icloud/features/

Hamm, S. (2012). How cloud computing will change business.  Retrieved from http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_24/b4135042942270.htm?chan=magazine+channel_special+report

Ulander, P. (2012). Top 5 things the cloud is not. Retrieved from http://www.wired.com/cloudline/2012/06/top-5-things-the-cloud-is-not/

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4 Responses to Is your head in the cloud? It should be.

  1. Shane Collins says:

    Hi Shanah,

    I think the cloud is something that we have needed in the IT space for years. It certainly does keep all one’s information close to home, and allows for greater accessibility from a global standpoint. I am interested to see how the cloud may affect marketing. It still seems like a relatively new tool, so I’m sure we will something in the marketing space soon.

    One thing that comes to mind in particular is whether or not this technology will make hacking even easier. In an age when your personal computer and files are constantly at risk, it seems that having it all in a “cloud” makes consumers that much more vulnerable. I hope too that soon this tool will be more secure to avoid these potential issues.

    Great information!

  2. David Ebmeier says:

    Dear Shanah,

    Talk about timing! I just saw a commercial for the Verizon cloud before I jumped on the blog and read your post. Before seeing that ad – I had thought previously that only Apple was offering this technology. The cloud seems like a great idea that could catch on easily. As consumers find themselves with more and more devices, being able to access the cloud to get content and information that was stored prior makes perfect sense.

    I was wondering about what the implications of having different carriers that host/provide cloud services will be and if there will be compatibility issues. I am curious if one company, (say Apple for example), could decide that they would only host certain content and not allow non-mac generated or non iTunes downloaded content to be stored.

    It seems that there are a lot of possibilities available with this tech – thanks for highlighting this Shanah!

  3. Carola Roufs says:

    Hi Shanah,
    I appreciated your post. I’m still unsure if I trust the cloud because I do not fully understand it. My phone gave me the option to put everything on the cloud so I thought that I was transferring all of my cell phone information to my computer. Instead it formatted every single file on my computer so I could transfer it to my phone. That scared me because I have some very personal information on my laptop that I would not want anyone to have access to from my phone. I was so shocked by this that I deleted the application because I am unsure where the personal information on the cloud is stored. It is stored somewhere. Would Verizon have had access to all of my personal information? Somehow I can’t believe I’m the only one who would. I’m curious to know where the memory bank for the cloud is.

  4. Mike Nicholson says:

    Shanah,
    I tried using Jolicloud a while back, a primarily web/cloud-based computer system, and really didn’t like it too much – granted this was an early version of it. The reason is simply that I had to be online all the time to be able to use it, and I am often places where I need to work that I am not or cannot be online. Google has a cloud-based computer system, Chrome OS, that is out and continually being improved so I am interested to see how it works, but Ive read that just as in my experience they have had to go back in more recent versions an provide a way for people like me to be able to work offline when needed.

    The cloud is great if you are always at home connected to the web, but since we are more and more mobile, I think it is actually making consistent cloud computing a bit of a challenge. It’s great is your primarily in your city with cell coverage and limited moving, but bad when you move all around to different parts of the world.

    Mike