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Cool Use Cases of Cloud Computing that Make Our Lives Better


HP20140317997 -c.jpgThe business benefits of cloud computing—the ability to quickly scale resources to meet demand, respond rapidly to competitive pressures, and shift from a CAPEX to OPEX model—are well documented. What may be surprising is the degree to which companies integrate cloud into their everyday operations. From coordinating the delivery of pizzas, to developing new ways to make daily tasks simpler, to making sure our food supply remains safe, cloud computing plays a central role. Here are three ways that cloud computing works behind the scenes to make our lives better.



The cloud-connected car


One of the coolest and most convenient uses for cloud computing I’ve run across is the cloud-connected car. According to Popular Mechanics, just about any car from 1996 onward can use an on-board diagnostics device to send vehicle and location data to the cloud. Drivers can calculate mileage for an expense report, monitor their fuel economy, and keep track of teen drivers and establish alarms when teens go outside preset “geofence” boundaries, among many other things.


And BMW announced late last year that by 2018 over 10 million of its vehicles will use cloud computing to connect to the company’s data centers, and that more than 90 percent of its models will include built-in cloud connectivity.


Even more convenient capabilities are on the horizon.


One of the most intriguing examples I’ve seen is the Ford Evos, first introduced as a concept car and due to hit the market in 2015. Want to save energy by automatically adjusting your thermostat when you leave each morning? Want to have the garage door lower automatically each time you drive away? Want to automatically check your calendar to see traffic conditions along your commute and make your meetings on time?


Thanks to its cloud connection, the Evos will reportedly let you do all of this. It can also access historical driver data and pair it with weather conditions and the difficulty of a road to refine braking, suspension, and steering data in anticipation of your upcoming route. These are just a few of the conveniences Ford envisions enabling via cloud computing.



Cloud-coordinated pizza


Cloud computing may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you want to order a cheese and pepperoni pie, but at least one global chain has found that cloud is the secret ingredient that enables the company to handle peak demand. Cloud computing helps ensure the company won’t lose business due to a lack of capacity to process orders.


Domino’s Pizza UK has found that cloud computing enables it to better meet the fluctuating demand for services, and the need to quickly scale resources up and down to meet that demand. The company found that big peaks in online orders, which often occur between 5pm and 9pm and on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, require more IT services than other times and days of the week.


Cloud gives the company the flexibility to have the IT infrastructure in place to handle heavy online order traffic without having to invest in extra on-premises equipment. Unpredictable events, such as storms or extremely cold weather, also cause spikes in online orders that require greater processing power. Thanks to cloud computing, the company can handle swings in order volume and keep a lid on IT spend.



Responding quickly to food safety recalls


When potentially tainted food enters the supply chain, lives are at stake and minutes count. Cloud-based solutions allow food manufacturers and suppliers to identify and locate recalled products and quickly pull them before consumers suffer any harm.


Companies also need to act quickly to help mitigate any damage to their brand reputation. Without an effective process in place, the stock value of affected companies can fall by two percent 24 to 48 hours after a recall, and plummet 20 percent within 14 days of a recall. The industry needed a way to enhance the traceability of contaminated food and improve recall efficiency while meeting regulatory requirements.


GS1 Canada moved its operations to an HP Cloud-Based Product Recall Service to handle those challenges. Cloud computing enables GS1 Canada to shorten the end-to-end recall process from 42 days to just one hour. The standardized process improves trust between trading companies, enabling a more consistent, accurate, and timely method to share critical product recall notifications. Now, GS1 is implementing the cloud-based recall service across the world.


Are you using cloud computing in a new and different way? Share your thoughts 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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