6 Big Companies That Succeeded With Cloud Computing

Considering cloud computing for your company? Learn more by exploring these six companies that succeeded with cloud computing.

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March 20, 2019
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Cloud computing isn’t right for every company, but an increasing number of enterprises realize that it helps them grow their businesses and meet other goals. Here are six examples of large companies that found cloud computing success.

1. General Electric

General Electric (GE) began its digital transformation in 2014, but three years later, it chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred provider and depended on the service to host more than 2,000 cloud-based apps and services. Chris Drumgoole, General Electric’s Chief Technology Officer and Corporate Vice President, noted “Adopting a cloud-first strategy with AWS is helping our IT teams get out of the business of building and running data centers and refocus our resources on innovation as we undergo one of the largest and most important transformations in GE’s history.” A few years before moving to AWS, GE toyed with the idea of building its own industrial cloud but ended up doing away those plans. It decided to focus on other aspects of its business while leaving the cloud infrastructure necessities to AWS.

2. Kroger

Although brands like GE find that AWS works for them, others specifically avoid using the platform and favor other leading options instead. Kroger, the grocery retailer, is one of them. It splits cloud costs between Amazon and Microsoft and reportedly has millions of dollars going to each provider. Between live products and those still in the testing and development stages, the company keeps thousands of projects in the cloud. As of 2017, it gave roughly the same amount to each cloud provider but representatives planned to continually weigh the cost-value ratio to decide whether to show a preference to one of the two companies. Kroger also has a private cloud that it relies upon for specific needs. Then, in early 2019, Kroger announced a partnership with Microsoft to revolutionize grocery shopping by bringing the most innovative digital technologies into a physical test store. The Microsoft Azure cloud platform will help Kroger move forward with a data-driven approach to grocery shopping that keeps customer needs in mind, partially by using technologies including artificial intelligence (AI).

3. HotelTonight

People appreciate being able to make their travel arrangements in ways that work best for their busy lifestyles. HotelTonight is a website and app that helps them find accommodations fast at attractive prices. It’s currently hiring for more cloud-related positions, such as platform engineers and data engineers. Plus, storing information in the cloud likely makes it more straightforward for HotelTonight to manage its hotel-related information. Users regularly see updated content such as short-term discounts. The company also has a loyalty program. Keeping information in the cloud brings advantages as the company offers more room options on its site or otherwise brings new features to its audience.

4. eBay

People who use eBay expect the bidding site to give reliable performance and show them listings for almost anything imaginable. If the site crashes at a time-sensitive moment, people could miss opportunities to place winning bids for the things they want most. So, when eBay moved its marketplace of more than a billion listings, the company recognized the task as a substantial undertaking. However, with the help of a team of engineers, it accomplished the transition to Google’s cloud platform in five months. That feat got to a production-ready stage so quickly that eBay found itself six months ahead of schedule. Moreover, eBay could assess using Google’s services in numerous places around the world, including those outside of North America. In 2018, eBay started using Google’s cloud option in a different way by testing machine learning algorithms that assist with image recognition. One machine learning task with a 40-day completion time using eBay’s in-house systems required only four days with Google’s help.

5. Meals On Wheels — Greenville, Co., SC Branch

The Meals on Wheels nonprofit gives older and disabled people access to nutritious meals delivered to their door. The organizations South Carolina branch in Greenville County realized that moving to the cloud would lead to more streamlined communications between its volunteers, as well as other benefits. When the organization put its financial management system in the cloud and started using Microsoft 365 for internal needs, those changes led to saving more than $500,000. That Meals On Wheels group serves an area of more than 500 square miles and does so with the help of 2,000 volunteers. Paid staff members can talk to the volunteers en-route through a variety of methods, allowing them to give quick updates when needed. It’s also possible to create specific communications for things like fundraising. As such, people can give or get insights and do so through electronic means instead of trying to capture everything with paperwork and pens.

6. Fitbit

Fitbit is one of the leading smart watch brands, but a growing amount of competition in the market caused the brand to struggle. Stock market analyses suggest, however, that 2019 could be a breakthrough year for the brand. They highlight late gains in 2018 that could set the tone for 2019. Fitbit representatives know that one of the ways to reinvigorate the brand is to make it appealing to more people. One of the ways it’s trying to do that is through a partnership with Google For Healthcare, the brand’s health-centric cloud business. It allows people to share their health data with providers, helping the brand compete with Apple, which already offers a similar feature. It’s not possible to pinpoint the exact reason for Fitbit’s recent gains, but it makes sense that the cloud innovation for health data could’ve sparked the uptick in part. Doctors and patients love convenience, and they can find it in the cloud. People who choose to share their records this way get access to a dedicated place to store their content. Then, providers have another interface that allows them to view the data. They can also monitor patients remotely or schedule appointments by using the platform in the cloud.

A Variety of Business-Boosting Benefits

Large companies like the ones listed here often find that making the switch to the cloud helps them retain or increase competitiveness. Cloud computing isn’t the right option in every case, but the examples here show how it frequently enables businesses to enhance their operations and offerings.