TMCnet Feature
May 06, 2020

Healthcare, Education, Entertainment: What Do You Have to Gain from Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing was once the future, but now it’s very much the present. From education to entertainment, cloud technology is everywhere now, serving roles much more complex than just being the online storage service that most of us still associate it with. The real question is, however, what do you have to gain from it, or rather, do you really have anything to gain from it?

Understanding the Cloud

Cloud technology is often confused as being the same as cloud computing, although these are two different terms that define two different aspects of the same concept. They can also be used interchangeably at times, but there is a difference.

Cloud Technology – Cloud technology is a broad definition of the concept itself, and it describes any service that is delivered via the internet. Popular examples of service genres that use cloud tech are as follows:

  • Storage
  • Server
  • Database
  • Intel (News - Alert) and analytics
  • Networking
  • Software tools
  • Constant access and management

Cloud Computing – Cloud computing is the actual technical work that goes behind preparing those services just mentioned.

Do You Have Anything to Benefit from the Cloud?

Everyone who uses the internet today is essentially using the cloud automatically, whether they realise that fact or not. However, the word benefit in its strictest sense doesn’t apply to everyone to the same degree when it comes to cloud-based services.

Where the question of benefit becomes particularly relevant, however, is when the user has to make a conscious choice regarding whether or not a particular type of cloud tech is beneficial enough for them to consider investing active time and money into. That, on the other hand, is a question that can only be properly answered by someone who fully understands the scopes and opportunities of using the technology in respect to their needs.

Depending on the professional, businessman, or student, this degree of applicability will vary, therefore, it would be impractical to state or conclude anything without knowing the particular use case scenario. As we go through how fields such as healthcare, education, and entertainment are leveraging the cloud to improve and evolve, the question will be answered on its own.

Using the Cloud for Education: A Massive Opportunity for Business Professionals

Online MBA and DBA courses have long served as a practical course of career development for busy professionals, who do not have the time to take a break from work. In the absence of cloud-based, advanced educational programs, many of today’s leaders wouldn’t have reached the places that they did, simply because they would have been too busy to pursue an advanced degree course like a DBA in the traditional way.

Most professionals who actually have to gain from a Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) degree are already experienced employees with significant professional and social responsibilities. In order for them to pursue professional education during such a time in their lives, it is only possible now because of cloud-powered online educational programs.

Making full use of the cloud resources available to educators today, institutions like Aston University Online have designed their Executive DBA course with the aspiring corporate leaders in mind. A few highlights of the course are as follows:

  • It’s a part-time course with adequate flexibilities which a senior working professional may require to work and study simultaneously
  • Most reputable online programs come with the affiliation and accreditation of AMBA, EQUIS and AACSB

It’s not just about MBA or DBA courses only, of course, but cloud-based courses with the right accreditations are perfect for professionals from nearly all fields, which range from nursing to engineering. The bottom line is that from a professional standpoint, cloud technology in the form of advanced online education can be extremely beneficial to progress further ahead in one’s career, without putting that same career on hold for a long time.

Entertainment in its New Form: Streaming for the Sake of Choice

Everything from YouTube and Netflix to Spotify (News - Alert) and iTunes is based entirely on multiple facets of cloud computing, which can be broadly categorised into two main parts:

  1. Every one of the streaming services utilises cloud storage to store data and content
  2. They offer this cloud content to their customers, which is also delivered via a cloud-based interface

Therefore, the usefulness of cloud technology in respect to the user, in the case of entertainment, is as simple as a yes or no answer to the question, ‘do you benefit from any one or more of the multiple streaming services out there?’

For everyone relying on the internet for their entertainment, the answer would be a yes, so that’s a definitive conclusion right there, but what is it about cloud-based entertainment that is stealing customers away from broadcast television? What are the benefits of cloud technology in entertainment from the perspective of the viewers?

  • The freedom to choose what to watch and when to watch it
  • A singular service plan covering all aspects of that streaming service, in stark contrast to the expensive and confusing plans from the dish/cable business
  • No/minimum ads - the experience will differ according to the service in question, but it’s still not as interruptive as broadcast TV ads

Over time, as the technical aspects of cloud computing in combination with the speed and reliability of uninterrupted internet connections continue to improve and reach all corners of the globe, broadcast will have less and less to offer in terms of benefit over cloud-based entertainment for the consumer.

Healthcare: Removing Geographical Boundaries in Patient Care

Healthcare as an industry has over the years become one of the most cloud-benefitted sectors of them all. On the other side, patients have also found the myriad impacts of cloud-based healthcare to be immensely helpful to them. Therefore, healthcare would have to be that one sector where the question of being advantageous or not is of the least significance, but it still is necessary to take a brief look at the highlight impacts of cloud tech on medical care, both from the perspective of the patients and the industry:

  • Disabled patients, as well as their assisting healthcare workers can now hold video conferences with the right experts, irrespective of their distance from the patient
  • Collaboration: Multiple experts can simultaneously discuss and solve a complicated health issue among themselves, without even being in the same continent
  • EHR has made accessing patient data an instantaneous process, thus giving access to lifesaving info about each patient, irrespective of where they were treated/tested originally
  • EHR also saves time, which is the most valuable commodity in healthcare; rummaging through dusty files can delay treatment long enough for it to be lethal
  • EHR saves money: Paying for cloud storage is cheaper and more cost-efficient than having to maintain multiple rooms full of data files for decades
  • EHR is also a much safer way to protect patient privacy and adhere to the legal mandates of the government
  • Online education is helping nurses become advanced practice nurses, which is in turn making a huge difference in rural patient care
  • Medical research is progressing at a dizzying pace now because AI algorithms can go through big data to find patterns and simulate scenarios at a fraction of the time
  • Marketing a new medication is being made cheaper, safer and faster on account of the same
  • A patient wearing a mobile monitoring device on their body can go about their lives, while the data from those IoT devices is shared with the concerned medical personnel continuously
  • Seniors and at-risk patients can be kept relatively safe in any environment, without constant supervision, thanks to cloud-based emergency alert systems
  • In the emergency wards, IoT devices provide a constant feed of vitals to a central nursing station, so that the medical personnel can react immediately before or during an emergency

A combination of artificial intelligence, cloud technology, and IoT hardware is pushing healthcare to its next stage of evolution. These examples are prominent, but even they are not sufficient to include the numerous impacts that medical science as a whole has received from the rapid advancement of cloud tech.

Cloud technology has applications beyond just the few that were discussed here, but these few should be proficient in highlighting the areas where the technology of providing services via the internet can actually be beneficial. The opportunities, applications, and scopes are only going to grow wider every year with the rapid advent of technology all around, but before investing time and money, it is always going to be crucial to ask that all-important question - how this will benefit me?

Cloud tech has wide applications, and chances are that it will have something to offer to most organisations and working professionals in some form or the other, but answering that question will help them determine where exactly they should channel their resources. In a world full of so many choices, having a definite idea of what’s important and what’s not can help anyone make better decisions.

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