Real-World Implementations of Cloud Computing

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

Cloud computing is being put to use in numerous real-world scenarios. In this lesson, you'll learn more about how it has been implemented in the fields of healthcare, energy, transportation and more.

Real-World Cloud Implementation

How often are you using cloud computing in your day-to-day life? Probably more often than you realize. Cloud applications are all around us: when we check our Gmail account, when we post to Twitter, when we listen to Spotify in the gym and even when we're at work creating documents in Microsoft Office 365.

We're so accustomed to navigating our way around these platforms, that we probably don't stop to think of the cloud's real-world implications for all of us.

But it's not just our personal or professional usage where cloud computing can touch us. A number of industries that we are, or have been a part of, are implementing cloud computing in their own right. Let's dive into some real-world examples of cloud computing across various industries.

Cloud Computing At Work

Whether it's helping distribute data in the healthcare industry or making it simpler for utility companies to understand green energy, cloud computing is becoming a fixture in a variety of industries.

Healthcare

The researchers at Mount Sinai's Icahn School of Medicine in New York City had a data dilemma. They had more than 100 terabytes of data. That's one and two-fifths as much as the entire Google Earth database. All this data needed to be stored and cataloged so that it could be properly analyzed. The data was part of a research project studying thousands of DNA sequences for breast and ovarian cancer patients.

The team turned to a cloud-based platform where it could store its data in a cost-effective manner, while keeping it readily accessible to whoever needed it. In this scenario, the cloud worked because it was secure, could grow as the project expanded and offered a collaborative atmosphere in which researchers could work.

Education

Computer science careers, particularly in the computer programming field, continue to be on the rise as technology changes and evolves. One non-profit organization is trying to use cloud technology to teach more people, particularly women and minorities, about computer coding. Code.org launched an education campaign in 2013 entitled Hour of Code, driving students to its website. The only problem was, the existing website was not capable of handling the volume of traffic the non-profit hoped to achieve.

The organization turned to cloud computing to build an environment that could accommodate its learners while keeping costs low. The solution was to create multiple cloud-based channels to deliver its tutorials and keep its website up and running flawlessly while millions of visitors were visiting. In this example, cloud infrastructure helped Code.org get its content out while leaving the set-up to the cloud provider.

Energy

Shell Oil is one of many companies in the energy sector making use of cloud computing. Using cloud services, the company is able to manage the geological data that comes from its processors, which can help increase the output of oil and gas from the company's wells.

The cloud infrastructure the company has established improves the company's operational efficiency by measuring what's in the wells so the company can quickly respond. Shell manages this data in the cloud, which is available in real-time to workers in the field.

Transportation

The logistics of managing a business in the transportation field can make for a challenging scenario. There are vehicles, routes, crew members and other factors to consider. One railroad company, with 6,600 miles of railway routes, was struggling dealing with the data coming from a myriad of sources.

They opted to look into a cloud computing resources that could help them manage the data tied to each of the trains in their network. The goal? To make the best use of the company's rail capacity while improving organizational performance. The cloud system helped the company integrate all of its various data points into one comprehensive database. The database provided real-time information that was accessible through a website portal.

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