Since the technology first emerged, vendors and even governments have been telling us the move to the cloud is inevitable. However, many companies remain wary of the cloud, either because they don't understand the benefits, or they fear the potential security issues it could cause.
This is a shame as the cloud offers a variety of benefits and has the potential to revolutionise the way companies do businesses. To showcase these perks and prove the benefits of cloud computing we've collated a list of 10 interesting and innovative uses of the cloud that V3 has encountered of the past few years.
Unlike previous top 10 articles, we've chosen not to rank this list as each firm's use of the cloud is unique and worthy of praise in its own right.
Local councils love Google
A more extreme example of cloud computing in the enterprise is how it can be used to replace the need for standard desktop PCs, so rather than each employee having their own machine with local software installed, instead they run web-based apps and services.
Google scored a major win earlier in 2014, as the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham undertook a major migration project to move from Microsoft Windows XP onto Chromebooks and Chromeboxes.
The council was previously running 3,500 Windows XP desktops and 800 XP laptops, and is currently in the process of retiring these in favour of around 2,000 Samsung 303Cs Chromebooks and 300 Chromeboxes, mainly for meeting rooms, reception areas and libraries across the borough.
Barking and Dagenham expects to make savings of around £400,000 compared with the cost of upgrading to newer Windows machines, from a combination of the lower hardware costs, lower support costs and more energy-efficient devices.
The move to Chromebooks was aided by guidance from the government's IT security body the Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG), published in the autumn of 2013, which clarified how to move to internet-based machines securely and confirmed that the council would still be able to connect onto central government networks.
While the move means staff will now require a constant wireless connection to use the Chrome devices, due to the Citrix remote desktop system in place, Barking and Dagenham said it has invested in its wireless infrastructure to support this, and also wants its staff to take the opportunity to work remotely using home broadband or other connectivity.
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