Cloud computing is growing in popularity at an exponential pace, as more and more businesses understand the advantage of cloud computing. With improvements in technology and connectivity, apps are displacing conventional programs installed in the hard drive. Cloud based apps offer resilience, flexibility and convenience compared to dedicated server or hard disk based programs. The benefits of cloud based apps include the availability of powerful solutions without having to invest in costly hardware, the boon of paying only for usage, which makes otherwise out-of-bounds solutions affordable, and the convenience of anytime and anywhere availability.
Google Drive : Google Drive is an extension of the already popular Google Docs that allow users to save and manage their documents, spreadsheets and other basic documents from the cloud.
As web-users and businesses become increasingly mobile, and as more and more users access the web from multiple devices, they would find Google Docs very convenient compared to storing documents in the hard drive or carrying it around in a pen drive or memory card.
Google Drive makes it even easier, facilitating seamless collaboration. It is a fully featured cloud based Office suite, that allows users to edit and port files across PC, tablets, smartphones or any other device. It allows users to store such documents in the cloud, and access it through any device using either a virtual drive app or even the web browser interface.
The fact that this app comes from Google, and offers 5GB of storage free, would make it one of the top cloud applications for 2013.
QuickBase: A more powerful and comprehensive alternative to Google Drive is Quick Base. QuickBase places the company’s database in the cloud, providing secure web access for the same from anywhere in the world. This becomes extremely useful for executives who need to access the latest data when on the move, and to collaborate seamlessly across employees spread across multiple geographical locations.
QuickBase is available free for the first 30 days, after which, it costs $250 upward per month. Even at this high price, QuickBase has the potential to become one of the top cloud computing applications in 2013 by virtue of its leveraging the power of simplicity. The simple and straightforward web interface offers a choice of 300 prebuild database templates, besides elaborate options for storage, notifications, reports and permissions, all with unmatched flexibility and ability to customize.
Microsoft Office 365: Microsoft Office 365 ports MS-Office, Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync, to the cloud, and may just herald the demise of conventional on-premise Windows server administration. Users who subscribe to this cloud based service may download and install a full copy of Microsoft Office 2013 or other MS products on up to five devices. What is more, other Windows 7 or 8 machines may also download MS-Office apps on a temporary basis.
Apart from the obvious benefits such as flexibility and doing away with hassles of managing the software on-premises, Office 365 also benefits from centralizing all the Windows functions and integrating existing Active Directory environments, making the hitherto complex task of managing Windows environment a piece of cake. The clean user interface, and unmatched power for viewing and editing documents are added reasons why this cloud computing application would likely rank very high in the list of top cloud based app in 2013.
Adobe Connect :While computing has grown leaps and bounds, web conferencing has not yet kept pace. While there are indeed many web conferring applications and chat rooms, there is still space for a professional cloud based universally permeable web conferencing solution.
Adobe Connect may just fill up such void. It scores over its closest competitors such as WebEx and GoToMeeting. It offers unmatched scalability top meet the needs of any business regardless of size or complexity, flexibility of virtually unlimited ways to connect with the participants, unlimited video feeds, and by impressive mobile support. These features would go a long way in making web conferring as seamless and easy as sending an email.
Expensfy: Many home users and small businesses still feel the pressing need for a collaborative suite that would allow them to track, manage, and sync their accounts, when on the move, and across multiple locations, with ease.
Expensfy allows users to track business mileage, scan and upload receipts, and more, seamlessly. The app also allows users to consolidate and submit expense reports at the click of a button. It integrates seamlessly with Quickbooks and other accounting software already in place.
FormMobi: Most users hate filling up forms. Even otherwise, typing in data is a nightmare, or at the very least, outright inconvenient, in many popular devices, such as smartphones, tablets, and even notebooks.
FormMobi is a cloud based app that functions as a virtual clipboard. It allows users to gather and distribute data across devices, allowing users to transplant data to fill up forms, from say, the desktop to the mobile. It also offers several other value added functions , such as, recording audio, taking pictures, collecting signatures, and creating CAD-quality sketches, easily. It becomes very easy to undertake these otherwise arduous tasks and sync them across devices.