There can be no doubt that cloud computing has forced an evolution in how we do business. Never before has a technological development so greatly affected how we work, connect, and communicate. Virtually every field in the world has felt the impact of the cloud to one degree or another.
Some, however, have been faced with so fundamental a change that many have no idea how to keep up. That isn’t a bad thing, believe it or not. Although these industries felt the greatest shift at the hands of the cloud, they’ve also the most to gain by embracing it.
We’ll start with the one everybody knows. Practically since cloud computing first hit the public eye, the world’s been buzzing about how it’s going to change Information Technology. Phrases such as “the consumerization of IT” have been thrown around like candy, and bloggers all over the world have trumpeted the death of the traditional IT service model. They’re not entirely wrong.
The ease with which cloud solutions can be developed, tested, managed, and deployed has made IT vastly more efficient – once the security concerns of consumerization are dealt with, IT departments will be in a better place than they’ve ever been. Far from being made irrelevant, technology management professionals will instead find themselves stepping into new roles, helping to manage, migrate, and maintain cloud installations; automation will make offering support for technical problems easier than ever.
The fields of sales and marketing – grouped as one here due to their similarities – have already enjoyed a host of benefits because of the cloud. SaaS software has automated much of the marketing process, while cloud analytics platforms equip marketing professionals with more knowledge about the consumer than ever before. Sales cycle management has similarly benefited from this automation, as the cloud makes management of large volumes of information significantly easier.
On the sales front, cloud computing has colluded with the proliferation of mobile technology to equip sales-floor employees with the ability to tap directly into their brand’s network and point of sale systems while assisting customers – essentially supercharging the sales process.
To see the impact cloud computing has had on the entertainment industry, one need only look as far as Netflix – to date the largest cloud media platform in the world. Thanks to load balancing services provided by Amazon’s cloud network, Netflix is able to completely ignore the traditional problems of distribution associated with physical media. The platform(and others like it) is capable of providing simultaneous entertainment to millions of users without regard for manufacturing costs or logistics; in other words, limitless, near-instant transmission of media at the behest of the user.
In short, the way we access and consume entertainment has been forever changed by cloud computing – and that change is inarguably for the better. While some traditional media companies are still lagging behind – or even fighting tooth and nail against the cloud- they will ultimately have no choice but to adapt as consumers begin to demand greater access, choice, and convenience – all of which will ultimately lead to higher revenue as the cost of distribution is cut by a factor of ten.
To fully understand the impact cloud computing has had on the hospitality industry, one need only look at the large volume of small hotels and restaurants that have thrived in recent years, equipped to compete with larger brands through the power of cloud-provisioned resources. It’s not just a matter of lessening infrastructure costs, either – the cloud services are also helping hospitality industry clients improve the overall customer experience, offering better personalization, easier access to goods and services, and greater overall knowledge of the consumer.
The healthcare industry has something of a tenuous relationship with the cloud. Although there are undeniably a great many advantages to be had with a shift to a cloud service model – the ability to instantly access and analyze medical information, reports, records, and care management – concerns about cloud security have stymied the growth of the cloud in healthcare until recently, as cloud providers scrambled to make their offerings HIPAA compliant. Still, one cannot deny that the industry was, is, and will remain a perfect candidate for cloud computing – already we’re seeing businesses within the sector benefit from the cloud, as vendors make an effort to offer better protection for sensitive medical data.
The Cloud Won’t Stop Changing
Cloud computing brought about a fundamental shift in how we do business – and that’s only the beginning. Every industry stands to benefit from the cloud in one way or another, whether they know it or not; though some professionals still haven’t fully accepted the cloud yet, this is of little concern. With the cloud gaining more widespread acceptance with each passing day, it’s only a matter of time until they too see the light.