Let's pretend the cloud doesn’t exist. For some, this idea is unimaginable today in the 21st century. You’ve never known anything else. The cloud has always been there. How could you live without cloud-based email or find a new place without Google Maps leading the way?
For others, you’ve lived without the cloud and know how much better it has made things. You don’t need an atlas. You don’t have to queue up CDs to listen to music. And you can find that file you need in seconds. Life without it wasn’t all that long ago, but now there is no way you could live in a cloud-free world.
Well, pretend there’s no cloud out there to help you through your day. Could you do it now that you're used to a cloud-first workplace and personal life?
Let’s take a light-hearted look at what a workday would be like, both personally and professionally, without services driving what you do all day long. It's time to survive a day without using the cloud.
The 6 A.M. Alarm
Or should we say, the lack of an alarm? Sure, you always have it set to go off at 6 a.m. to give you plenty of time to get out the door at 7:30 a.m., but today it didn’t go off.
You can partially thank last night’s power outage for the fact it’s blinking at you with the wrong time. You also can blame yourself for not making sure the backup batteries were still working. Now you have to figure out how to get out the door in 45 minutes instead of 90. What are you waiting for? Time’s a-wasting!
If the cloud existed, you most likely would have had an alarm set on your smartphone or tablet that runs with a cloud-based global clock. You’re at least somewhat immune to power outages since your phone can run on AC power or batteries. You aren’t, however off the hook for not charging your device before the battery dies.
Your Frazzled Commute
With your day already off to a bad start, you’re already stressed by the time you get into the car. The morning DJs’ schtick is more than you can handle, so you decide to listen to a book on tape.
No dice. Your in-dash cassette player has been temperamental lately, and today’s the day it’s decided to give you big-time grief. It eats the tape. Of course. You don’t have time to deal with it, so you turn back to the least rowdy morning show as you sit in traffic.
Had the cloud existed, you wouldn’t have to deal with a spool of audiotape exploding into your car, and could pick the kind of music you wanted to hear from one of many streaming music services. And you wouldn’t have to listen to those stupid jokes on the local “Morning Zoo.”
Logging In at the Office
Now that you’re at work, you figure things will improve. Think again. Remember that power outage? It knocked out your company’s aging, on-premise server. This means not only can’t you can’t access email to put out a few fires before the day gets crazy and worse, but you also can’t even access any of your files to work on those deadline-sensitive projects. It might be a good time to clean up those growing paper piles on your desk instead.
If your company had implemented a cloud computing environment, you could have raced through those emails, gotten a jump on today’s hot project — and even found time to go to the office coffee room for another cup of joe.
Cloud backup and disaster recovery provides 24/7 access to all of your company’s information, thanks to the fact that your cloud provider securely protects your data in multiple, redundant servers across different regions, not just on a single one in your office server room or an aging data center. Cloud disaster recovery guarantees you “always-on” uptime.
Racing to a Deadline
Finally! The server is back up and running, albeit limping along. You’ll take it. You have a new business presentation after lunch, and the slide deck is still in the internal review process. You made a few changes before you left yesterday, so you send the latest document to the other three colleagues on the pitch team to get that final sign-off. Done!
But you’re not that lucky. Two of them print out their changes and put their redlined copies on your desk. The third sends you a new version of the file by email; he made his changes in a different color font instead of using the tracking tool.
This means you need to compare all three versions, verify which of any conflicting edits are the ones you should use, and make all of the changes by hand. As you’re doing this, you get an email suggesting you look at another file on the server for new information. They didn’t provide a pathway to it — or even a folder name, and you simply can’t find it. It’s now 11:30. You need to be out of the door by 1 p.m. to make the pitch on time. Will this day ever end?
A cloud based-collaboration solution, such as Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) that incorporates powerful search capabilities through a secure, familiar browser interface would solve this issue. These tools allow teams to edit a single document together in real-time and reduce the hazard of having too many versions of a file and the confusion that goes with it.
Cloud-based search that integrates with collaboration tools gives you the power to search across your company’s content and also in external repositories, making information easily accessible, 24/7.
Meeting at a New Client’s Office
The team approved the deck. You bolted an energy drink as your “sad desk lunch”. Now you grab your laptop and papers for the new business pitch in the next town over. Once in the car, you start making good time, but the road you need to take is closed. And you don’t see any detour signs to guide you to the client’s office. Your printed Mapquest directions are no help, and you left your county street-map booklet on your desk.
You’re lost! It really is your worst day ever. It’s time to call the client contact to say you might be late and see if they have any advice on how to get there from where you are.
For drivers, nothing beats the availability of cloud-based, mobile navigation apps, which give you turn-by-turn instructions to your destination and recalculate those directions for traffic, construction and more. For businesses, these maps and location-based services take this familiar interface even further, allowing field workers to find customers, customers to find businesses online and more.
The cloud has another benefit when it comes to meetings. In this world of making connections remotely, videoconferencing has become more reliable, secure and accessible now that you can use it through the cloud. You can cut travel expenses to connect with distant clients, or even to meet with remote employees to keep them in the loop. Of course, you can still meet face to face to give things a personal touch.
It’s a Cloud-Driven World
Now that you've (barely) survived a day without the cloud, you realize all of the ways the cloud affects how we live, work, communicate and play each day. There are too many to count. Even these few examples show how having cloud computing infrastructure and its related solutions in your life eases day-to-day stress and makes life easier at work and at home.
The cloud isn’t a fad. It’s here to stay and will continue to drive all aspects of life. The cloud drives way you use devices in your home, when on the go — and in the workplace, from connecting to collaborating to finding information to taking part in an artificial intelligence journey. The cloud simplifies and streamlines so many aspects of life.
That’s not to say you won’t still have bad days. But with all of the benefits that life in the cloud delivers, the forecast is definitely sunnier than before. The cloud paves the way for even better solutions and technology and other benefits you’d miss if it weren’t here.