Cloud storage takes many forms and is used in many different ways. Dropbox for example is the most popular provider of cloud storage and is used by individuals and businesses alike. More importantly perhaps, for many businesses, cloud storage has become a precursor for big data and this is proving to be the real game changer.
So, what are businesses doing with all this data and why is it important?
To find the answers to these questions we must first explore how big data and cloud storage work.
How Cloud Storage Works
The notion of cloud storage can be traced back as far as the 1960’s, but it wasn’t until the mid 1990’s that it started to become something we can associate with the type of cloud storage we now all have access to.
AT&T launched a service called PersonaLink that paved the way for the technology used today by Dropbox, Pinterest and others.
The idea is simple, instead of storing information, whatever that may be, to your desktop or company servers, you connect to the internet and upload the information to the cloud. Ironically, the cloud is housed in huge storage facilities all over the world and they are very much earth bound.
The developments made in both storage and web technology have brought us to where we are now – being able to store what seems like, to the average person, an unlimited amount of data to the cloud. Technology has taken what used to be a logistical nightmare, that of what to do with all your data and made it into a dream come true.
Why Big Data is Important
Once we had the ability to store vast amounts of data, people started to think about how this could be used to help businesses, other than being a convenient place to put stuff – enter big data.
Big data simply refers to the ability to analyse all the information we are storing and put it to good use. From big data, businesses can extract information, from the information they can formulate knowledge and from knowledge comes wisdom – a very valuable commodity.
What this means for many businesses is that if they want to connect with a particular demographic or group, they can find out how to do so. Also, if businesses know what their customers need or want, they can provide them with it, although it still may have to be delivered by a rather less sophisticated method – a van.
A Man in a Van with a Tablet in His Hand
Yes, much of the stuff purchased from the companies who use big data to find out what we want is sent to us using a parcel delivery service. Ironically, even the most technologically advanced businesses in the world, those who provide cloud storage included, still need to use logistics companies to move things around, hardware for example.
And this irony is twofold, because all logistics companies use cloud storage as a way of making the information they hold on the companies and customers accessible. The big logistics companies have operatives all over the world and each of them can retrieve company information stored in the cloud at the push of a button or click of a mouse.
So, for businesses cloud storage and big data is a big deal and what we have seen so far may prove to be just the start of the transaction.