Cloud computing is awesome and powerful, but, for now, I’m content with simple cloud storage. My love affair with the cloud started when my phone decided to die; wiping out all my contacts, notes, to-do list, text messages, etc. At that point it hit me: Why do I need to recreate and resynch my data? Why isn’t it always there whenever and wherever I need it? Why should lost data even be a possibility?
For example, consider our contact lists. We all have multiple contact lists: on our phones, Outlook at work, our home PCs, our Gmail and Hotmail accounts, in little black books in kitchen drawers, etc. This creates the challenge of having to update them in all these locations every time we need to add or modify a record – and, typically, a business contact added to Outlook in the office is not available on our personal smartphones so what we are actually doing is maintaining multiple databases with some overlapping data and some unique records.
This is where the cloud steps in and works it’s magic. All we really need is one personal database in the cloud that is accessible from our home and work PC’s, our phones, or our tablets while sipping Margaritas in Mexico. Synchronization software (which is highly developed thanks to the likes of RIM) would ensure that all instances of the data would match and we would be able to reach any of our personal or professional contacts any time, any place.
This concept can be extended to all our data: pictures, mp3s, spreadsheets, calendars, etc. End result: simplified personal data management via an online equivalent of “My Documents” that is universally accessible, secure, and backed up.
Of course, the challenge of security cannot be ignored (both for the individual and the enterprise), but the benefit gained is well worth the risk taken. Just ask any Mint user.