Most consumers born before 1985 remember floppy disks. These now obsolete products were once all a user had to backup important information from their computer’s hard-drive. When the floppy was replaced with hardware items like external hard drives and USB flash drives, it seemed that computer hardware was going in a new direction. That is, until the release of cloud technology.

The Cloud

The Cloud

What is Cloud Technology?

Cloud technology, often referred to as cloud computing and cloud storage, is a new form of technology that allows business and private users to store their information online through various servers. This information is backed up from the user’s hard drive or even modified in real-time online rather than through a traditional hard-drive. Essentially, everything associated with the cloud is virtual — no hardware required for the user.

Bye, Bye Archaic Storage Devices

Floppy disks have been obsolete for some time, but now CDs, DVDs, external hard-drives and even USB flash drives are becoming a thing of the past. Users no longer have to worry about losing these devices or the risks of them being stolen. With cloud storage options, users can backup, store and retrieve all of their documents, media and even financial information from one, centralized location online.

Is the Cloud Really Expected to Replace the PC by 2014?

A report released by Gartner has stated that the growing use of cloud technology is set to replace the personal computer by 2014. Since the IT industry has seen first-hand the security risks associated with the traditional PC, more companies and private users are expected to enter into the new era of cloud computing. Gartner’s study concluded that the cause of this shift does not land entirely on cloud computing. With the release of tablets, mobile devices and smartphones, it was no wonder that personal PCs would soon become obsolete. After all, it was Steve Jobs who stated that the release of the iPad sparked the “post-PC era”.

Though it is unlikely PCs will actually be replaced in 2014, the growth of the cloud computing industry has certainly sparked a change in how consumers store their crucial data – and with that, who knows what the future holds for IT technology.


[Image via prospettiva]