Cloud computing examples in business are everywhere these days. Cloud Computing can simply be explained as hosting your data (website, software, applications, etc.) over the Internet. Business that use the cloud, no longer need to buy and manage server hardware because the cloud provider manages the infrastructure. Just turn on your PC, laptop or smart phone and connect to the Internet to access your data. Compared to traditional outsourced hosting options like dedicated servers and colocation, the cloud offers a scalable and elastic environment which can be immediately turned up or turned down. With the Global expansion of quality and cost-effective Internet access and the need to reduce business expenses, cloud computing is becoming a major option for businesses all over the World. Believe it or not, you are probably already using a cloud computing service and don’t even realize it! In this article, we will review a few of the most common Cloud Computing Examples in Business.
Service Industry – In a 2012 study performed by management consulting firm Navint, 9 out of 10 of the Fortune 500 CIOs interviewed said they have received over 50% savings from implementing a cloud computing solution. Southwest Airlines is a prime example. Running VM Ware virtualization software in the cloud, they have been been an airline industry forerunner in delivering internal applications, services and product information to employees and to consumers all over the World. Southwest’s overall monthly hosting expenses went down by 75%!
Manufacturing – Major manufacturing companies have adopted cloud technology to control costs and inventories. Traditionally, manufacturers have used onsite ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) business software to manage customer, accounting and inventory production. Along with a huge upfront cost, these onsite ERP systems are slow and cumbersome and require constant maintenance from high qualified (and expensive) onsite/oncall technicians. Given these factors, many manufactures are analyzing cloud based ERP alternatives. A Cloud based ERP Solution can reduce costs, improve real-time information on production and most importantly release your internal resources from the burdens of managing onsite software and hardware.
High Technology – For obvious reasons, the high tech sector has been one of the first adaptors of cloud hosting technologies. Fortune 500 high technology giant Hewlett Packard (HP) which serves 1 billion plus customers all over the World recently switched from Oracle/Seibel software to Salesforce.com’s cloud hosted Customer Relationship Software (CRM). According to initial estimates , the close to 40,000 user transaction purchase would help save HP up to 50% over Siebel. Personally, I have used both systems over the last 10 years. From just a usability standpoint, Seibel was brutal to work with and always had internal issues. Salesforce.com is a easy to use and is a real productivity enhancer. Just open a browser, log in and you are ready to go to work.
Cloud Computing examples in business are visible everywhere. If you use Gmail or Hotmail, you are already using a cloud hosted service!