Fernando Fischmann

Three ways cloud computing is driving rapid innovation

16 September, 2014 / Articles

Cloud computing has changed how executives look at technology.

They want to embrace the emerging trends of big data and analytics, mobile computing and social business, yet they still need to deal with their existing information technology investments. For these executives, the cloud provides a quick and easy way to implement business process changes and find new ways to engage with customers.

Cloud offers a platform for the kind of tech experimentation, rapid development and distribution that used to be the province of the IT department. All of which means that at a time when corporate IT budgets are tied up in operations and maintenance, other business managers are turning to cloud computing to expand their businesses.

Here’s how three organizations are using the cloud in new ways:

–With the 2014 US Open Tennis Championships going on now through Monday, Sept. 8, the United States Tennis Association has all its technology services powered by an IBM cloud. When demand on USOpen.org or other services suddenly expands or contracts during the tournament’s two weeks, the cloud computing system can respond quickly — sometimes in as little as microseconds. We’ve been the USTA’s technology partner since 1992, constantly striving to deliver a better fan experience through technology. For example, we’ve analyzed more than 41 million data points from eight years of Grand Slam Matches to predict how individual players need to play to increase their chances of winning against each individual opponent.

–The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART), which serves about 400,000 commuters each day in Northern California, owns and operates a wireless network that supplies cell phone service to riders underground. BART dramatically reduced the expected delivery time of its pilot mobile app from months to weeks by using cloud services, which enable developers to rapidly develop and deliver projects faster and more efficiently.

–El Corte Ingles, the largest department store in Europe, is using the cloud to quickly expand online and provide customized offers, promotions and pricing in real time. They’re creating new services, such as a “click and collect” feature, which allows customers to order products online and then pick them up in a store. These kinds of innovations provide shoppers with a lot more convenience, while helping El Corte Ingles cut supply chain costs and delivery times, all because the retailer has an up-to-date understanding of its inventory.




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