30/06/2014 09:14 BST | Updated 26/08/2014 06:59 BST

The Benefits of the Cloud

Nowadays everywhere you look people are on their smart phones or engrossed in whatever it is they are doing on their tablets. It seems that everyone is connected all the time, whether they are at work, at home or out and about. This onset of constant connectivity has led to applications being introduced that allow us to have everything we need right at our fingertips. This is where cloud computing comes in. Cloud computing allows us to access our files at anytime, anywhere, whether it's on a smartphone, tablet or computer. The cloud allows us to interact with, and manage our applications and files regardless of location or access to your desktop. All that is needed is an internet connection.

So how does this benefit us? Well generally it means that as individuals, we can do almost anything on the go, we don't have to be anywhere near our desktop. Also it's a lot cheaper than using a desktop and a lot less maintenance as now software is rentable at a low monthly cost instead of there being a big upfront price. Not only does it benefit us personally, but in business terms it now means that smaller companies can afford more applications that benefit them day to day, and larger companies can easily manage their IT across their employees.

The existence of cloud computing allows us to run apps that previously have only been available on desktops; and alongside 4G, which means faster download speeds and greater capacity to deal with demanding services, almost anything you need to do can now be done on the go. This flexibility can once again be applied to businesses as well; working outside of the office is now a lot more achievable as you can access what you need quickly and easily.

The cloud allows you to access your files on all of your devices using a multitude of applications via the internet without having to buy and upgrade them, meaning lower costs and maintenance. Using the cloud enables us to build applications without having to purchase software to support it. It also means unlimited storage without having to purchase hardware. All of these benefits, combined with the fact that you'll always have the most up to date apps, without having to upgrade, means that whether you use it for work, social or entertainment purposes, you are faced with a whole new level of flexibility.

While there are obvious benefits for individuals, the cloud allows businesses to grow without the heavy investment in software that they faced prior to cloud technology. It also means that when purchasing a public cloud you can choose to purchase it for a specific amount of time, not being tied into a long term contract, once again benefiting you in terms of cost and helping to manage cash-flow. This also means that if a business wanted to stop using the cloud and finance another area of their business instead, they are able to without having to worry about being tied into long term contracts.

It isn't just small businesses that are benefiting from cloud technology, providers are making sure that there are packages to suit all types of businesses. While small companies may want to use a public cloud, which allows for ultimate flexibility, larger companies dealing with more sensitive information and requiring more security, can purchase a private cloud which allows them more control in terms of security. There are also hybrid packages which means while some parts of a company may be comfortable on a public cloud, you can put the other parts of the company on a private cloud.

While the benefits of cloud technology are substantial we are still quite near the front of the curve in terms of cloud based service usage. We're probably going through the early adopter phase, we're not really into the mass market yet. I think there will be a huge uptake in usage of cloud applications by businesses and individuals in the near future and we will continue to see a rapid transformation in digital relationships.