Transformative effects of cloud computing in digitalised era

Cloud computing represents the technological innovation process of the 21st century, and human civilisation is also tightly related to it.

  • Introduction

Cloud computing as one of the most successful internet innovations in the 21st century, and the cloud as one of the most popular applications in the globe. The development of cloud provides more spaces and methods for Internet users to store their files, and it makes the majority of the Internet users have a “sense of security”. The appearance of cloud computing enhances the trend of globalisation and digitalisation. Cloud computing also makes it easier to embrace multiculturalism for global citizens. Surveillance of cloud is one of the most controversial issues in current society, and cloud providers and the governments are playing key roles involved with this issue. The widely uses of the cloud implies more human demands for it, and to manage and secure the big data as the most difficulties. The transformative innovation of cloud computing benefits the governments, cloud providers, cloud users, the majority of media workers, but digital labours are not benefited from it. Cloud users are able to store their precious files into the cloud, but they were monitored by the third-party for every motivation at the same time. With the enjoys of cloud computing, the cloud users are also bearing the risks that brought from the cloud. The expansion of cloud computing brings new understands of the Internet, but it also affects human society a lot in digitalise era.

3D cloud computing, With a CC BY 2.0 license
  • The genesis of the innovation of cloud computing

Cloud has become to one of the most successful applications in modern generation and the emerge of the cloud is to deal with a massive and huge amount of data on the Internet. The first emerge of the term cloud computing was in 1996, when the technology leaders were discussing the future of the Internet In human society (Mosco, 2014). The definition of cloud is quite fresh, and it emphasises that the cloud provides more decisions for users to process and store their data. Cloud computing as a reliable technology to make innovation and update users’ data based on the feedback. There is an increasing number of wireless access, which lead to the new trends of cloud computing and social media (Pirrone and Trainor, 2013). Cloud computing makes it easier for users to use social media platforms, and they can easily access their personal information among a large amount of data.


Since human society stepped forward into the digitalised era, to manage and secure big data and a variety of information as difficulties for human beings. Cloud users are able to access their data easily and not limited by places, time, and subjects. Cloud users are allowed to share and store large amounts of personal information and data, while it also reduces the cost of software and applications services to expand on data processing facilities (Slahor, 2011). The widespread and rapid development of the cloud is an inevitable trend in the digitalisation because it provides convenience and lowers cost consumption at the same time. People may have a different understanding of the cloud, but the cloud providers need to ensure its always making profits (Mosco, 2014). Internet services for both individuals and organisations, applications, processing and distribution of data are essential elements that all involve the definition of the cloud computing (ibid.). There are many different cloud providers in the world, but only those who can provide very stable cloud services can survive in the market for a long time. The cloud users can choose the “outsider” to manage their data, so the security of personal data has become very crucial. The emergence of cloud computing as a significant change in the media industry, making it easy to disseminate and publish information through the Internet. Cloud computing made a success on time and cost consuming both in the technology industry and the media industry.

  • Who has benefited from this transformative effect? Who has not?

Cloud computing brings profits to Cloud providers, helps the governments and cloud users to manage and store the big data, and provides more methods to manage information for media professionals. Cloud computing improves the efficiency of computing and processing, and it also improves the utilisation of big data. For the governments, cloud computing helps to save the costs on building local systems and makes big data more centralised and manageable. The United States federal government costs approximately $80 billion annually for improving and building local systems and agencies (Cloud computing, 2010). Since cloud computing technology has been adopted into the federal government departments and local governments’ work, the data can be easily shared to the public and all government sectors (ibid.). From the cloud providers’ perspective, the innovation of cloud computing makes it easier to manage their customers’ data, and they can gain profits from cloud services.


According to Mosco (2014), cloud computing helps to shape a global market and the cloud providers are stand at the top of the chain. Economically, one of the appeals of cloud computing is the cloud users can only pay for what they actually care about and there is no extra fee for other application services (Er and Pal, 2017). Digital labours are not benefited from the transformative effects of cloud computing. The growth of cloud computing has driven a reducing of human labour and cheap human labour, so many digital labours have lost their jobs, and their incomes are gradually reduced (Steidinger, 2011). Cloud as an invisible infrastructure that influences the political, economic, educational and media system in the states (Winseck, 2017). Commercialised cloud computing technologies can be introduced into social regulation on a large scale. Cloud developers and providers can benefit from it, governments can use it to improve work efficiency and the daily life of citizens will also become safer and stable.

  • What about ordinary Internet users?

Surveillance on the cloud has become controversial since cloud computing technology was first introduced to global Internet users. Surveillance on individual’s data as one of the worrisome issues for some cloud users, because they believe that personal information will be used and controlled by the government and cloud providers (Macnish, 2018). Edward Snowden in 2013 revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) of the United States were watching and collecting personal data of their citizens through the cloud, it reminded high awareness of data privacy for cloud users. However, some of the cloud users support surveillance through cloud computing as a safeguard for society and individuals.

Figure 1. The global digital population of July 2010. 2020. Some rights reserved. 

Citizens are living in a video-centric society, if there are combinations of facial recognition software and GPS for monitoring violent actions of terrorists and criminals, there will be a declining of crime rate in society (Dunkel, 2012). For ordinary internet users, the technological innovation of cloud computing helps them to easily access to public data and collect useful information in their cloud account. Majority of global citizens are social media users, approximately 4.57 billion global citizens were Internet active users and there are almost 3.96 billion are active social media users of July 2020 ( For example, Facebook as one of the most popular social media platforms which make profits based on surveillance on the cloud. Through the posts and activities, Facebook can monitor the users’ feelings about it (Pesce, 2017). Therefore, the users will receive accounts and content recommended by the platform that they may be interested in to achieve a better social media experience. Cloud computing as one of the most essential elements in social media generation, because social media users are able to share and save important information from social media for experiencing a better social interaction.

  • Summary

In conclusion, the transformative effects of cloud computing benefit the cloud providers, the governments and the majority of Internet users. Cloud computing as a significant innovation of technologies in the 21st century and it provides a new understanding for the Internet, hardware and software storage. Due to this innovation emphasises on lack of human labours and save costs from labour forces, digital labours are facing a big challenge from it. However, the widespread introduction of this transformative technology helps to build an ideal social regulation in the world. The development of cloud computing is necessary because it occurred technological, social, economic and political influences in the digitalised era. Strong society’s reliance on cloud computing indicates that the development of cloud computing is an inevitable trend, and human’s understanding of cloud computing will be further improved in the future.


This video is about the basis of cloud computing, and how human beings use it in current society. Source from <iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”″ frameborder=”0″ allow=”accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture” allowfullscreen></iframe>

The Cloud – Cloud Computing” by perspec_photo88 is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0


  • References


Cloud computing: benefits and risks of moving federal IT into the cloud: joint hearing before the Subcommittee on Government Management, Organization, and Procurement and the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives, One H. (2010).


Dunkel, D. (2012). The “Wonderful World” of Cloud Surveillance. SDM42(6), 50.


Macnish, K. (2018). Government Surveillance and Why Defining Privacy Matters in a Post‐Snowden World. Journal of Applied Philosophy35(2), 417–432.


Mosco, V. (2014). In to the cloud: big data in a turbulent world (pp. 15–77).


Pesce, M. (2017). The Last Days of Reality. Retrieved from:


Pirrone, M., & Trainor, J. (2013). Cloud computing, social media, and confidentiality. (security). The CPA Journal83(11), 58–60,62.


Slahor, S. (2011). What Is Cloud Computing? Law & Order59(8), 10. (2020). Retrieved from:


Steidinger, M. (2011). Is the cloud right for manufacturing? (cloud computing). InTech58(6), 26–29,36.


Winseck, D. (2017). The Geopolitical Economy of the Global Internet Infrastructure. Journal of Information Policy7, 228–267.












About Yutong Dong 4 Articles
Hello, my name is Yutong Dong. I’m a Meco( Media and Communication) and International Relations student at the University of Sydney. Please leave any comments or likes if you're interested in my contents.