Have you got your head stuck in the cloud?

Cloud technology; modern day society’s means to life. A social and educational necessity to the millennial, Xennials’ daily newspaper and a spring of economic and financial opportunity for households and governments. It has become an increasingly integral part of our daily lives, how we interact, how we obtain information and how we perform our professional and personal tasks.

Think about it: you woke up this morning from the irksome sound of the alarm on your phone, you read your messages on WhatsApp and caught up on your friends’ social lives on Facebook and Instagram. As you devoured your bowl of Captain Crunch, you listened to an interesting, possibly controversial, conversation on the morning news show. Determined to form your unbiased opinion, you performed some skim-read research on Google, across 10 different websites, in a matter of minutes, until your curiosity was satisfied. Getting to work, you read and replied to your emails, set up some Skype meetings with international business partners, performed some banking transactions and IM’d your spouse. You have used cloud technology consistently throughout the day, from the moment you woke up, to the minutes before you sleep, not only to do the tedious and seemingly important tasks, but to carry out simple and mundane everyday ‘chores’ and duties.

It is evident and obvious that we are, at a highly exponential rate, becoming more and more reliant on cloud technology in our everyday lives, and because so, a rather scary concept comes to mind: What would happen if it was all taken away?

For the millennial, this would mean instant chaos.  No more sharing of ‘food pics’ or liking their favourite celebrity’s motivational post of the day. I mean, how will they be able to post photo attempt 163 on Instagram to their 0.5k followers?

Innocent banter aside, taking away cloud computing takes away our platform to a more comfortable, productive, efficient and social life. And doing a quick Google search, many share my sentiment (as presumed). In an article titled, How cloud computing is impacting everyday life by Maamar Ferkoun, the author highlights the areas of life in which the impact of cloud technology is most prominent.

1 – Development

Cloud technology has had, and will continue to have, a tremendous definite impact on economic development. Profit-hungry innovative entrepreneurs relish on the opportunities introduced by cloud technology, leading to massive income gains conjured in the private sector, ultimately contributing to growth. The public sector relies on the cloud to carry out many of its services in a more efficient manner, leading to heightened government productivity and deliverance. It is unfathomable what impact a cloud-less environment will have on a country’s development prospects. It will suffer from inefficiency, inability to compete and inability to meet needs of the population (especially with a 1,6 % population growth rate in SA). I.E, mayhem.

2 – Social

Imagine a life without social media?  Facebook recently obtained more than 2 Billion users. The global population stands just under 8 Billion. That means more than a quarter of all people around the world are users of social media, utilizing its many features and functionalities as a means to conduct personal and professional tasks. Although Facebook (and the wave of social media platforms that followed) are less than 2 decades old, the social change it brought in terms of how people interact and communicate is immense. So much so, that who knows what will result (socially) if its removed from our lives. It could be good or bad.

3 – Business processes

As described in the aforementioned text, businesses chiefly rely on cloud technology as a way to conduct business in the most efficient and productive manner. Sending a single mail to multiple recipients, conducting research on the internet, and obtaining information from the vast amount of different websites, marketing products on social media platforms, communicating instantaneously with numerous stakeholders, etc. The list goes on. Businesses are reliant on cloud technology, and cloud technology has introduced a new world of opportunity. Removing cloud technology/capabilities will thus have a complete inverse effect of the benefits it holds.

The above just highlights 3 of the many areas the removal of cloud technology would disrupt, such as education and healthcare. Certain industries are also benefiting from the massive advances made in cloud computing: Finance, Marketing, Hospitality, etc. Personally, I feel that the advent and acceptance of cloud computing has benefited the world in more ways than we realise. Obviously I am not saying that no negative comes from it, but the fact that it possesses so many enriching and value-adding qualities, makes it something we should embrace.