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With less PCs, We Look to the Clouds

By March 18, 2017Technology, Today in IT

There was a time when it was a big accomplishment to own a computer. Owning a PC was a big deal. You would drop a few thousand dollars on a bulky machine that allowed you to utilize the services of a rudimentary word processor on a low resolution screen with funky colors. Your hard drive contained a staggering 512 mb of space, more than enough than you would ever fill at the time. That was then. Technology progressed, the visual aesthetics of the screen got better, hard drives began to contain more available space – counterintuitively, the physical size of the hard drives began to decrease in size. What used to be a seven pound hunk of metal and moving parts containing a gigabyte at most of available space is now a microchip the size of a fingernail containing nearly a terabyte – a chip so small, it could blow away in the wind!

Naturally, one may be thinking “gosh, can it possibly get any smaller while containing even more digital space?” The answer is a resounding absolutely. 10 years ago, the “cloud” was introduced. For all intents and purposes, “the cloud” is digital storage space that does not reside physically in your PC, tablet, phone or device. It was digital information that seemed to have been stored… in the air! Terabytes of information just floating through the air, weightless! Of course, that’s only what it seemed like. In reality, the digital information is stored on giant servers in remote areas that are hosted by either Google, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft or a few others. These companies allow users to rent out this available space on their server to store their personal information or business information for immediate retrieval at a moment’s notice.

On the consumer end, this means as long as you have an internet connection, having a tablet with a few gigabytes of memory is more than sufficient to manage your hundreds of gigabytes of personal data that you have accumulated over the years. Pictures, documents, music, videos – all of these files could be stored and accessed at a moment’s notice from the cloud without the need to physically carry the files with you on either a flash drive or on your devices. With automatic cloud syncing and backups happening almost on an instantaneous basis, the fear of losing all of your data from a destroyed laptop or PC has become minute.

From a business perspective, the cloud can be a saving grace for managing employee work stations, files, documents etc. however, this isn’t without its own drawbacks. Even with cloud technology, companies will often utilize their own private company server that hosts all of their documents. However, companies like Microsoft have adapted to these changes by offering the firmware they use for their own cloud computing systems to companies using their own servers.

It has become more and more important to have your data secure and safe to minimize the risk of hack attempts, data loss or crashes. With companies using more data than ever, a number that tends to increase over the years, there isn’t a one-size-fits all technique for managing all of a company’s digital information. That is why a company like ours, PCtronics, specializes in consulting with businesses to assess the specific needs of the company to figure out what the best solution for their digital needs are – big or small.