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What is The Cloud and why should I care?

If you’ve been keeping up with your daily doses of tech news, you might have heard the word ‘cloud’ getting thrown around.

Everything claims to be ‘in the cloud’ or ‘using the cloud’, and you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s just one of those meaningless buzzwords companies use to try to sound trendy.

Fact is, ‘the cloud’ is really one of the coolest things happening in tech and represents a major shift in the way your favourite apps, organisations and services work. To learn more, Techly has flown over to Shanghai to attend the Huawei Connect conference, which showcases some of the coolest developments in this space.

In super simple terms, when you’re using ‘the cloud’, it means that you’re asking another company to use its computers instead of your own. Most of us are familiar with the idea of using cloud storage to store our photos or music (and save that sweet, sweet storage space on our phones).

But the beauty of cloud systems is the stuff that isn’t so visible. Take the fact that humanity produces over 10 million Blu-ray discs worth of data per day, with that number growing every day.

In the old days, you could walk into nearly any office and find a room with stacks and stacks of massive (and expensive) servers designed to manage this data. These would be responsible for delivering the sites you visit (like Techly), the services you rely on (like the Police) and even the utilities you use every day (like your water or power).

This old way of doing things is going the way of the rotary phone – old coots will swear by it, but everyone who knows whats up reckons its dead in the water. Governments and businesses are looking for more computer power for cheaper, so they’re asking companies like Huawei to take on the brunt of their computing needs for them.

Huawei Connect - cloud technology

By moving their servers to the cloud, governments and businesses can make use of some crazy, cutting-edge advancements in AI and Machine Learning (we’ll address these in extra detail as the conference unfolds).

For average joes like us, it means we’ll be seeing some seriously sci-fi-esque stuff coming out over the next couple of decades. And all of it will live in and be powered by ‘the cloud’.

During the Huawei Connect keynote, CEO Guo Ping noted that in the early 20th century there were over 100,000 gas streetlights in New York (and a small army of people employed to light them). In just a couple of short decades, these were all replaced with electric streetlights.

Over the next 20 years, we’re gonna see a similar shift in the way governments and businesses manage their tech.

And it’s gonna be epic.

Disclaimer: The author of this post was sent to Shanghai to cover the Huawei Connect conference courtesy of Huawei.

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