Is Google Drive an example of cloud computing?Plus 8 ways it can help your business
The cloud? You mean the whitish, fluffy substance we see in the sky especially when it's about to rain. What has it got to do with technology?
Well, cloud computing technology has come to stay. This is the delivery of computing services over the internet thereby offering more flexible resources, faster innovation, and economies of scale. These services include servers, software, storage, analytics, databases, intelligence services and networking offered through the cloud. At the early stage of the internet, the sign of a cloud was used to represent internet services and that is how the name came to stay.
Cloud computing can be differentiated by its 3 types. They are public, private and hybrid clouds. The public cloud is an array of computing services that is hosted in a public cloud vendor fully managed data center. A private cloud is used and managed by a single individual, business or organisation. While hybrid clouds combine the best of both worlds. In a hybrid cloud the public and private cloud is connected to the internet via a virtual private network or dedicated channel.
Apart from the types of clouds available, there are 3 kinds of services the cloud offers. They are software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service(IaaS) and platform as a service(PaaS). Software as a service is a simple way of granting end users a cloud application software and automatic software updates though the internet on a pay as you go model. Iaas is a cloud service that offers users a pay-as-you-go model for cloud based services like networking, storage and virtualization. And Paas is the combination of the software and hardware tools available over the internet.
Is Google Drive a SaaS?
Yes, Google Drive is a SaaS. The reason is that all you need to do is to log in, and you immediately have access to a spreadsheet application, a word processor, and a presentation creator. Also Google drive is a SaaS cloud computing service because it gives you access to store, compute and access different software functions. If you already have a gmail account then you have Google Drive, since your free Google account gives you access to all Google services like Gmail, Google Drive, Photos, Youtube, Play store and more.
Google Drive is a cloud based storage solution that enables you to store your media, files and media in the servers in the cloud. You can easily access these files with your phone, tablet or laptop. The Drive is available in both android and iOS stores, in fact it comes preinstalled in most new android phones. With your documents on Google Drive, you can free up space in your system and access them anywhere on any device with internet access.
You can access the Drive through the web by going to drive.google.com. You can also download the software for use on your PC. Once you visit the website, you will see 'Get drive’ for desktop; click on download and start using. Google Drive storage gives you 15MB of storage free and that is enough for most people’s needs. This storage is shared between documents in the drive, gmail and photos. But you can increase the storage capabilities by paying for it, either using a monthly or yearly subscription. This payment gives you access to Google One which gives you more than both storage and also rebates to the Google store.
How businesses can use Google drive
Most corporate organizations are moving over to cloud as 48% of businesses store their most important data in the cloud; and Google Drive is the most used cloud storage software. Now that we’ve gotten some basic knowledge about Google Drive, let’s see how Google Drive can help businesses. Here are 8 ways this SaaS can help you as a business owner.
Work with your business files: You can work with, edit, download, and convert Microsoft Office files in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides through the drive. After working with your Google Documents, you can save it and export it as an Office file to be able to share with others
Share and organise office files: You can share your drive files with anyone in your office. Just send them the link and they can work on it. You can also share files between you and your team in a Google group. Apart from that, you can also control who can edit, view or just comment on the file you shared. You can also block people from sharing unwanted files with you.
Sync your documents across all devices: With Google Drive, you can sync all your documents across all your devices as long as you are connected to the internet. Therefore you can upload a file with your mobile now and get it on your laptop in seconds. This works for other members of your team as well.
Backup your documents: A good way of backing up your documents is using Google Drive especially when the external hard drive is not available or you have a problem with yours. If you have a chromebook it is the best way to save your documents as the space on a chromebook is quite small. On your smartphone, Google Drive can automatically upload your documents and images to the cloud.
Work offline and save when online: With Google Drive you can work offline on your google docs, sheets, slides and save them automatically whenever internet comes up on your device. You can do this on your laptop, device or smartphone. Just turn on ‘available offline’ on your document to save your files offline.
Facilitate collaboration: Google Drive makes it easy to check, edit files and correct mistakes made by other members of your team. You can take collaboration with your staff and colleagues to another level by creating chat. You can have a chat around some spreadsheets and documents by clicking on the speech bubble icon at the top right side of a document. This eliminates the need to send email attachments to and fro. This is also great as Google Drive saves every update up to 30 days or 100 revisions.
Safe and secure information: Every data in Google Drive is encrypted with the same security protocol used on Gmail and other Google services using SSL. This means your data is very safe no matter what happens to your tablet, smartphone or laptop. Once you get a new device, you log into your google account and you can access all your information again. Google Drive and Google Drive data centres are SSAE 16 / ISAE 3402 Type II SOC 2-audited and have gotten the ISO 27001 certification.
App integrations: Google drive can easily integrate with third-party apps and services. This comes handy when you share collaboration from other programs with team members. Google Drive can easily and automatically put the documents in a google docs friendly document so you can work on it.
Google Drive is a great SaaS that every business needs as it is not just for storing files in the cloud, it has a lot of other uses. Employees can easily and effectively move and edit files across each through the drive as they can access files from a single cloud account. What’s more, the software can be used and easily synced across Linux, iOS, and android devices.
About the author
Ugo Juliet is a freelance B2B SAAS writer for hire specializing in helping businesses convey their most important ideas to their customers. She does this through providing content for blog posts, whitepapers, articles, landing page copy, case studies and web content for online businesses. She can be reached via [email protected]