When it comes to emerging technologies, cloud computing has drawn more controversy than any other tech out there. These two words have driven countless debates, caused numerous arguments in IT departments and, more often than we like to admit, have left many in the industry profoundly confused.
But interest has continued to increase and many companies have successfully moved part or their entire IT into the cloud. We are currently moving and living in the cloud era, and our thinking is being shaped by several key areas like the need for flexible IT infrastructure, the emergence of big data analytics and increased mobile usage.
Just as email replaced the memo, cloud computing is set to impact the way we do business, offering a competitive advantage to those companies bold enough to think outside the famous “BOX”. So, let’s take a look at some cool ways cloud computing is currently changing the world:
Healthcare is more patient focused
Imagine a doctor or dentist who is able to pull up a patient’s radiograph and zoom into particular areas of the radiograph with the touch of a button. This would allow medical practitioners to make medical decisions almost instantaneously, regardless of their location or whether they have access to a desktop computer. With cloud computing, this is no longer a dream, but a reality.
Frimley Park Hospital, for example, is an NHS Foundation Trust serving more than 400,000 people across its region. With budgets cuts, the hospital wanted to innovate its IT systems in order to save cash without impacting frontline services. By using cloud, Frimley Park’s staff is now able to access all clinical records from tablets, improving patient experience and increasing the level of one-to-one care. Also, the savings in IT now allows the hospital to push more resources into patient care rather than tying it up in back office maintenance.
Instant payment methods and real time feedback
Time has always been a valuable commodity for businesses, but now, with the world is moving at a faster pace than ever before and its worth has increased exponentially. WorldPay, an online payment provider, has also benefited from cloud technology. By moving its infrastructure to the cloud, WorldPay was able to offer customers self-service provisioning, and basically the ability to instantly add a payment method to their service.
At the same time, businesses such as the online gaming company Betfair are using the cloud to ensure they stay ahead of their competitors and offer exciting new options to its established customer base. These days customers are used to having instant, mobile access as well as the ability to bet in-game and receive real-time feedback. For Betfair, cloud technology is vital as the company looks to react quickly to market events, creating and deploying new applications in time to capitalize on key trends.
Smart working and collaborating
Cloud is playing a critical role in ensuring employees are kept in constant contact. Businesses in all kinds of industries have been transformed as the cloud allows new and more efficient forms of collaboration. The technology is no longer a “cool feature”, but a critical part of any company’s infrastructure. We are seeing more and more businesses relying on mobile devices as the era of “office working” slowly fades.
Actually, the trend is so important to workers that over a third claimed they would leave their job if told they couldn’t use their mobile device for work purposes.
These are just a couple of examples of how the cloud is affecting our lives. The applications we are currently seeing are the tip of the iceberg and, and as the technology matures further, who knows how we may be using the cloud in even a year from now? Technologies and concepts such as the internet of things and smart cities are growing, as businesses begin to realize that the cloud can do so much more than simply speed up or reduce the cost of their IT. So, are you ready?
Photo credit: http://www.quanticate.com/