A Day in the Life of Cloud Computing

Most people who start investigating the cloud don’t realize how much they’re already using it; in fact, 95% of people have used the cloud but don’t know it. Here’s how I use the cloud in my everyday life.

I wake up early, usually at 4:45am. I let the dog out, get a cup of coffee, and settle in to do some reading before I get my kids up at 6:00. When I open the cover of my iPad, a day of my life in the cloud computing begins.

My morning routine begins with catching up with on news: first Twitter, then a couple of hundred feeds with Reeder, and finally my personal & professional Gmail accounts, all apps that get their data from the cloud. If I have enough time, I’ll read a chapter or two in a book I’ve downloaded from the Kindle store. I also take notes and keep a journal using Evernote, not because it’s a such a great note-taking app, but because it’s installed on all of my devices and syncs my notes seamlessly via the cloud. So far, so cloudy.

After the kids are out the door, I work out. During this time I’m not connected to anything. No music, no TV, no Internet. The only clouds I see during this precious hour are in the morning sky. But after that I’m off to work where it’s all cloud computing all day.

At work we listen to music on Rdio (an app that streams music from, you guessed it, the cloud). It works equally well on my iPhone or MacBook, both of which stream wirelessly to the office stereo via AirPlay. But of course we don’t just sit around listening to music. At work, we work.

And of course my company runs on the cloud using Google Workspace. We use Gmail for email, Google Drive for sharing files, Sites for internal marketing, engineering, and operations wikis, Calendar to manage everyone’s schedules (and those of our conference room and guest parking), and Contacts for, you know, contacts. We do all of our Google apps backup—to the cloud—using our own product, Spanning Backup for Google Workspace.

During the workday I find out about books while I’m on my laptop and buy the Kindle version from my browser. The next time I pick up my iPad or Kindle, there it is.

After the workday is over, I’ve had dinner with my family, and we’ve put the kids to bed, my wife and I usually either watch a movie (streamed from Netflix or the iTunes Store) or read.

I used to read during the day on my Kindle and at night on whichever iPad was convenient, but for Christmas I got a Kindle Paperwhite which works great in the dark. Now I do most of my evening reading on that. Unless it’s upstairs on my nightstand and I’m downstairs with an iPad, in which case I just use whichever device is most convenient. My books and current location are synced between devices. Via the cloud.

On those nights when we watch movies, we often do so on an AppleTV downstairs, streamed from Netflix or downloaded from Apple. But sometimes we decide to move upstairs before the show is over. We pause the show in the living room, then resume on the AppleTV in our bedroom. Cloud again.

If this is starting to sound repetitive, that’s because the cloud has become ubiquitous. Through our connected devices, it connects us to the world, to our entertainment, to our work, and to each other. “The cloud” as a moniker may be wearing a little thin. But as a part of our lives, it’s fundamental.