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3 Ways Cloud Computing Rocks the World


Awesome cloud.jpgCloud computing is driving change in all aspects of business, large and small. Some of the most common uses include dev/test, data archiving, storage, and disaster recovery. Everyone is familiar with SaaS players such as Salesforce and Workday and storage options such as Google Drive, iCloud, OneDrive, and Dropbox. Cloud-based collaboration tools such as Mikogo and Vyew are proliferating as well. In this post, I’d like to share what I consider some of the most interesting uses of cloud, and how they help enterprises achieve faster time to market, increase customer engagement, and drive revenue.



Cloud plays a pivotal role in each of these customer stories:


  • Retail.  Stores deploy cloud-based real-time analytics and customer profiles to operate more efficiently and boost customer interaction.
  • Health care and life sciences.  Pharmaceutical companies leverage cloud to accelerate research and diagnoses.
  • Counterfeit detection:  The risk of fraud threatens a staggering number of goods. An HP Helion cloud-based solution can help customers tell if they’re purchasing the real McCoy.


Using intelligence to drive sales


Few things are more frustrating than walking into a store and discovering that the advertised item you specifically came to purchase is out of stock. No store manager wants that scenario either, because it could mean more than just one lost sale; it could result in a lost customer. Every day, retails stores rely on cloud-based inventory systems to avoid such situations.


If you’re a district manager for a retail outlet such as Costco or Walmart, you need to know as close to real-time as possible when items on your shelves are running low. Rather than relying on manual methods such as spreadsheet and email and waiting for a manager to consolidate orders, you can use cloud applications to aggregate data and automate the business process.


Cloud can also drive customer engagement in retail stores. Imagine walking through the door of a department store and being greeted by a salesperson who knows which items the store has in stock that specifically match your preferences.


Stores in major metropolitan areas such as New York City and San Francisco have begun using Apple’s iBeacon iOS location awareness feature during the holidays to send product recommendations, discounts, and rewards to customers’ iPhones. Using the cloud, the store combines customers’ purchasing data with available inventory to create the offers.



Boosting research


Another great story that grabbed me is the way life sciences and pharmaceutical firms are driving potentially life-changing research via cloud. By using a scale-out cloud architecture to build and then refresh a database, a pharmaceutical firm is able to perform predictive analysis to render fast cancer diagnoses. The company couldn’t afford the capital necessary to build such a massive database on premises, but cloud makes it feasible for the firm to refresh that database every month or so.


Cloud also enables the pharmaceutical industry to sequence DNA, manage clinical trials, and run analysis on the efficacy of molecules and drugs. These are highly computational-intensive models that require extremely large sets of compute and storage resources on a dynamic basis. Without the scalable and flexible nature of cloud computing, this research would be prohibitively expensive to implement.



Thwarting counterfeiters


Counterfeit goods ranging from prescription drugs and consumer electronics to safety products such as bicycle helmets and vehicle airbags can jeopardize your brand reputation and endanger consumers. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, counterfeit goods account for six to nine percent of all world trade and that number is rising.


The HP Global Product Authentication Service is a cloud-based solution that enables customers to use their smartphones to scan product labels and determine if products such as PCs and printer ink cartridges are legitimate HP products. Businesses can use the system to track and authenticate virtually any product.


Because the solution resides in the cloud, businesses can implement it in a number of hours, with no disruption to the supply chain. A dashboard enables you to pinpoint which products scammers are counterfeiting, how many, and where they’re being distributed. Deploying the product enables you to protect your brand, increase market share, and improve revenue and profitability.



In my next post I’ll provide more stories about novel uses of cloud.


What’s the most intriguing use for cloud you’ve seen? Please share your idea in the comments section below. To learn how a trusted partner can help your enterprise develop an innovative use for cloud, please visit


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