Why It Matters: Cloud Computing

Cloud computing allows users to use computer applications, store files, and communicate and collaborate with others using the internet instead of a local server. The word “cloud” is used as a metaphor because the data is not stored locally and is transferred over the internet. Many cloud computing applications are free to use, though some require a subscription fee. Cloud computing applications are widely used and will likely be important to you and your organization.

Image showing a cloud, inside of which are (1) applications such as communication and finance, (2) platform components such as queue and database, and (3) infrastructure components such as compute and network. Outside of the cloud are devices that connect to the cloud computing applications, such as phones, laptops, servers, desktops, and tablets.

Cloud computing applications can typically be accessed in one of two different ways:

  1. using your web browser on your computer or phone
  2. using applications downloaded to your device that sync to the web

There are many different cloud computing applications. In this module, we will learn about email, calendars, instant messaging, video conferencing, and cloud storage applications.