Have a guess: which of the above food items can be grown using cloud computing?
One thing that we always encourage our prospective clients to do, when considering the transition to cloud, is to embrace its limitless range of possibilities, both now and in the future – remember, it is a long-term investment. Over the course of time, technological developments in terms of the applications and functions that cloud offers could – in fact, most likely will – transform your internal practices in ways that you never thought possible when you first made that commitment. The other point we would make is that you may think you are in an industry where converting to a cloud desktop offers very little; as we say, embrace the possibilities. To demonstrate this point, we explore some of the more, erm, unexpected uses of cloud. You may find this a real eye-opener.
There are several instances that on one hand seem like the natural progression of the cloud phenomenon, but retain a certain wow factor simply on the basis that they are now possible. For example, the concepts of online higher education or live video call translation are impressive innovations, but we feel as if we were waiting for those to occur. More obtuse, however, are initiatives such as “Shoes-Sold-by-the-Step”; this is based on the pay-as-you-go model that cloud providers like Viastak work according to, but employed in the footwear industry. Under the Sold-by-the-Step model, the customer pays nothing upfront for a pair of shoes, but pays a fixed rate according to the number of steps you are expected to take in them. This is a clear example of how cloud can infiltrate areas of a company you may not think of; here the platform has moved from simply servicing office logistics and manufacturing practices to providing a platform for frontline retail. You might adopt cloud for one reason, but it could end up doing so much more.
Furthermore, the cloud is adaptable to industries you might never have thought could make much of a use of it. We have all, at some point in our lives, seen footage on the news of a natural disaster of some description and thanked the heavens that we have never been involved in anything of the kind. Of course, scientists around the world are monitoring weather patterns and volcanic activity to the best of their ability – yet it is only with the introduction of cloud computing, and the big data processing power it offers, that they are now able to identify indicators for future catastrophes. The identification of natural disasters before they happen, for so long little more than an educated guessing game, has been transformed by the cloud. Scientific experts are now in a position where the information they process can save lives, predicting disasters enough in advance to engineer a protective response.
Yet it is the functions of the cloud themselves which continue to astound – and here we reach the answer to our first question above. Lettuces – yes, lettuces – are now being grown in the cloud. Globally renowned technology firm Fujitsu are now applying cloud-based data analytics to the production of low-potassium lettuce and spinach; sensors inside their hydroponic greenhouses are producing data analysed in the cloud which allows heating conditions and LED lighting to be controlled remotely, thus automating the entire process. Moreover, the system has proved to increase quality and yield of their vegetables. Cloud is presenting hydroponics with a potentially revolutionary new method of food growth – in a way even we at Viastak might never have imagined – which could have seismic implications across the world. Therein lies the potential of the cloud.
The possibilities lie open, untapped, for all those who have not yet made the transition to cloud – and indeed for all those who have, since they benefit from the constant technical advances in the industry. We at Viastak believe that one should never underestimate the potential of this technology. The next productive, unexpected uses of cloud could be yours.