Every day, cloud technology becomes more critical for businesses across a variety of sectors. Even industries that have historically been reluctant to adopt cloud-based systems are becoming more open. Knowing and understanding cloud-based tech has opened the door for unparalleled innovation and ML, and has fostered what many experts feel may be a Fifth Industrial Revolution.
Which fields are feeling the most significant impact from cloud-related solutions? Five of the top include telecommunications, education, manufacturing, healthcare, and finance. Below, we’ll examine how each trade has been impacted and changed by the cloud.
Industry #1: Telecommunications
For years, telecommunications providers, especially communications service providers (CSPs), dealt with infrastructure and equipment. As such, workers focused mainly on installing and maintaining hardware. However, this limited their ability to scale quickly.
Research from SaaS experience provider Plume suggests telecommunications corporations that invest in the cloud will be tomorrow’s CSP leaders. The reason is simple: They’ll be able to tap into a burgeoning smart home marketplace worth an estimated $300+ billion by 2026.
By reducing their reliance on limiting equipment and dated physical frameworks, CSPs can move faster and solve customer problems. They can also extend their reach without the use of wires or cabling. Having to rely less on cables gives them a tremendous advantage as they compete with each other and alternative solutions such as 5G adoption.
Final thoughts: CSPs and other telecommunications businesses are tethered to low-tech infrastructure, tools, and equipment. By reducing their dependence on hardware, they can improve service and value to their customer base.
Industry #2: Education
From preschools to colleges, education got a jolt during Covid. Forced to move lessons and learning online quickly, plenty of public and private institutions adopted a cloud-first mentality. As a result, schools were able to continue educating students despite pandemic lockdowns.
Though 2020 wasn’t the first year to see cloud adoption in education, it presented the perfect opportunity for facilities to test cloud systems. For instance, many schools gravitated toward using top online learning management systems like Canvas, Schoology, and Moodle. Accordingly, teachers and learners became more familiar with the possibilities inherent in education without geographic barriers.
Moving forward, educators and students seem poised to make e-learning via the cloud even more popular. According to Campus Technology, nearly three-quarters of surveyed university students favored virtual classes. Students with the preference to go virtual don’t mean the brick-and-mortar lecture is going out of style, of course. Nevertheless, the move toward cloud learning platforms gives people more freedom to upskill and reskill.
Final thoughts: The issue of equity and access has plagued the education system in recent years. Cloud-based systems and options may create a more level playing field where all learners and teachers can thrive.
Industry #3: Manufacturing
Modern manufacturers are leveraging the cloud in significant ways. Though manufacturing has traditionally been viewed from a “nuts and bolts” perspective, advanced manufacturing is anything but antiquated. The biggest and fastest-growing manufacturers rely on cloud systems to carry out a variety of tasks.
A good example of cloud tech in action happens within the process of supply chain management. Having a centralized, cloud-based portal allows manufacturers to see all supply chain materials in real-time. Consequently, they can anticipate delays and shortfalls, enabling them to bypass issues before they occur.
Cloud technology also eliminates the need to invest in purchasing, upgrading, and repairing servers and related equipment. Manufacturers can instead spend money in other areas of their businesses. They can also give their customers access to vital need-to-know information on their cloud systems.
Final thoughts: Manufacturing has become highly competitive. Cloud-based systems allow start-ups and smaller manufacturers to compete on a global scale.
Industry #4: Healthcare
It’s no secret that healthcare has been one of the slowest industries to adopt cloud computing. Quite honestly, healthcare has lagged in terms of technology. Yet this is beginning to change as patients are demanding better and more access to their records. They’re also clamoring for online wellness solutions such as virtual appointments and the ability to self-schedule appointments.
Interestingly, some of the most prominent proponents of cloud-based technology in recent years have been the biggest provider networks. Nationally recognized and honored hospitals and healthcare systems are exploring improving effectiveness and efficiencies via the cloud. These include connected devices which make use of the Internet of Things (IoT).
To be sure, patient privacy remains a concern for all healthcare providers. But as The New York Times notes, data sharing can lead to exceptional results for all. Resultantly, many healthcare systems are working hard to figure out how to protect patients’ interests while collecting essential information.
Final thoughts: Wellness has taken center stage since the onset of Covid. Healthcare entities can improve their patient relations and outcomes by using cloud technology to its fullest capacity. As long as they have safety and security measures in place, healthcare institutions can offer consumers a buffet of choices.
Industry #5: Finance
Banks. Mortgage lenders. Credit unions. Credit card issuers. They’ve all leaned into the cloud, particularly as consumers have become more digitally savvy. It’s hard to find a legitimate financial institution that doesn’t offer some type of cloud-based portal and corresponding app.
Indeed, the cloud has completely altered the face of finance and helped equalize access to money management. No longer do customers need to get to a bank during business hours. Instead, they can simply move their money, report issues, and even apply for loans 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
As healthcare providers, financial companies have been somewhat cautious about their use of the cloud. They’ve spearheaded steps to reduce the risk of costly and embarrassing data breaches. They’ve also brought about some wonderfully time-saving innovations that people have begun to take for granted. For instance, customers have no qualms taking pictures of their checks and submitting those images for instant deposit through cloud systems.
Final thoughts: Allowing customers to control their financial destinies through cloud platforms makes sense. It also helps financial institutions differentiate their offerings.
In a relatively short amount of time, the cloud has gained momentum across a wide swath of industries. It may even have ushered in another industrial era. Though it remains to be seen how far the cloud can take humanity, it’s already made its mark on at least five major industries.
Image Credit: eberhard grossgasteiger; pexels; thank you!