27 Cloud Computing Examples That Keep the World at Our Fingertips

These cloud computing companies have found faster ways to store data and glean valuable insights.

Written by Sam Daley
27 Cloud Computing Examples That Keep the World at Our Fingertips
Image: Shutterstock
Jessica Powers | May 20, 2024

Cloud computing refers to when computing services and storage are accessed over the internet instead of through hardware like a USB drive or disk. And it has become essential for many companies that want agile ways to store and manage complex data without it being tied to a local device.

Cloud Computing Examples

  • Software-as-a-Service (Saas): Salesforce
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (Iaas): DigitalOcean
  • Platform-as-a-Service (Paas): AWS
  • File Sharing and Data Storage: Dropbox
  • Big Data Analysis: Civis Analytics
  • Data Governance: Carbonite
  • Cybersecurity: Forcepoint

For example, Netflix migrated all of its databases to the cloud in 2016. As a result, the streaming giant can now produce more content, onboard more customers and easily handle sharp increases in usage spikes (typically when a new show is made available). The company can also add or reduce storage amounts in real time based on its current viewers.

Cloud computing examples have since multiplied in various industries, and the cloud has become the standard for storing, managing and securing data.

We’ve rounded up cloud computing examples that are finding faster ways to manage data and extract insights.

What Is Cloud Computing? | Video: Amazon Web Services


Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) Cloud Computing Examples

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) products distribute data online and are accessible from a browser on any device, which allows those companies to continue to host the software. The ease of use, lowered costs and upfront, subscription-based pricing make SaaS one of the most attractive sectors in all of business and tech. Below are four industry leaders in cloud SaaS products.


Salesforce’s CRM

A well-known SaaS provider, Salesforce is a CRM tool that helps businesses manage customer relations and generate sales leads. The Sales Cloud combines AI and customer data to help sales teams identify potential leads and close sales faster. The platform also has separate clouds for customer service and marketing.


Zoom’s Video Conferencing Platform 

Zoom is a cloud-based software platform for audio and video conferencing that records meetings and saves them to the cloud so users can have access to them anytime, anywhere. Teams can also access the Zoom Developer Platform to create apps and integrations. Ally Financial, Dropbox and the University of Miami are a few of the customers that have benefitted from Zoom’s collaborative technology.


StreamNative’s Data Streaming

As the successor to Apache Pulsar, StreamNative descends from a tradition that has helped build Yahoo! into an efficient machine. The cloud system supports more communities with solutions for accessing data, messaging queues and event-sourcing. Businesses can choose between a host of tailored solutions that harness the capabilities of the cloud and make data sets more flexible and accessible.


Slack’s Virtual Workspace

Slack is a collaboration tool for teams and companies. Slack channels are essentially group messages and can be organized by individual, team, project or topic to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to communication. The cloud SaaS company even features video chatting and PDF file sharing and integrates other cloud companies like DropBox and Salesforce.


Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Cloud Computing Examples

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provides a virtualized computing infrastructure managed entirely over the Internet. IaaS is typically used in a few different ways, including as a testing environment for app development, as a website host and even as a platform for big data analysis. IaaS is becoming a popular cloud option because of its business continuity and its efficiency in delivering apps.


IBM’s Bare Metal IaaS Servers

IBM IaaS servers can be deployed in minutes to a few hours, depending on the cloud type. The tech giant’s bare metal servers take a few hours to deploy and can accommodate projects up to three terabytes. The virtual servers deploy in a matter of minutes and are useful for scalable projects that require flexibility.


DigitalOcean’s Cloud Website Hosting

DigitalOcean’s app platform helps product teams deploy, manage and scale websites as well as new products. Under the IaaS platform, users can create multiple virtual machines in seconds, and they can even scale based on data storage and incoming traffic. Cerebrus, Unicodemy and DSRV are customers that have used DigitalOcean’s platform to deploy and scale their products.


Finix’s Payment Processing Software

Finix is a platform that allows software companies, independent software vendors and marketplaces to streamline the process of bringing payments in-house through gateway or tokenization, merchant onboarding, reporting, settlement and chargeback tools and solutions embedded within a single platform.


VMWare’s DRaaS

VMware is a cloud and software company that has expanded its disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) products with the acquisition of Datrium. The move enables VMware to further its efforts in building hybrid clouds that offer more cost-effective onboarding and secure data storage. Onboarding and recovery services also come in different tiers, so customers can select the plan that meets their specific workloads.


Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) Cloud Computing Examples

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is a cloud computing model that provides users with hosted development kits, applications management capabilities and database tools — the virtual resources companies need to build, deploy and launch their software applications. By outsourcing hosting, database security and data storage, companies avoid long-term investments (saving them lots of money).


Eastwall's Consulting Services

Eastwall is a certified Microsoft Solutions Partner that works with clients ranging from startups to major enterprises on solutions that help them get the most out of the Azure cloud platform. Organizations from industries such as healthcare and energy services look to Eastwall for consulting expertise in areas like cloud architecture and compliance.


PagerDuty’s Incident Response Platform

By offering cloud and machine learning capabilities, PagerDuty helps businesses proactively respond to and resolve incidents. Companies can monitor incidents in real time, collect data and distribute tasks across expert teams that work to provide quick solutions. After resolving an incident, teams can also conduct analytics to figure out ways to improve their responses the next time around.


Acquia’s Drupal Management Software

The Acquia Cloud is built specifically for Drupal sites and applications. The PaaS technology is designed to be developer-friendly, with APIs, command line tools and integrations to streamline the development workflow. Johnson & Johnson, T-Mobile and Energizer have worked with Acquia’s products.


Apexon’s Salesforce Consulting

Saggezza (acquired by the Apexon-Infostretch family) provides companies with full-stack solutions to help them tackle their largest challenges, offering consulting, UX, analytics, cloud and IT optimization services to give them a better advantage through technology. The company works within the Salesforce ecosystem to help manage relationships and streamline business processes, improving both customer and employee experiences.


Amazon Web Services’s Lambda

AWS Lambda lets developers run code for any application or backend service without provisioning or managing servers. The pay-as-you-go model continuously scales along with a business to accommodate for real-time shifts in data storage and usage. Well-known companies in many diverse industries use AWS Lambda, including Toyota, Liberty Mutual Insurance, the Coca Cola Company and Siemens, according to its website.


Heroku’s App Management Software

Heroku is a multi-language cloud app platform that lets developers deploy, scale and manage their applications. The flexibility of Heroku’s PaaS allows them to work in languages like Ruby, Java, Python, Perl and other popular languages. Giving developers the ability to code in a comfortable language reportedly speeds up app development.


File Sharing and Data Storage Cloud Computing Examples

File sharing and data storage account for lots of cloud use, with individuals and businesses sharing large files through cloud-based software and outsourcing their data storage to off-premises data centers.

Pay-as-you-go models help businesses manage and scale data sharing and storage based on current needs. Best of all, there’s no limit on either one.


Google’s Drive

Google has become a force in cloud computing with its cloud-based platform Google Drive. The platform integrates with other Google tools and Microsoft Office files, making collaboration easier for team members. As projects pile up, features such as search chips allow individuals to quickly locate specific files. Drive also encrypts files and removes those suspected of containing cyber threats, allowing businesses to secure their data on the cloud.


Dropbox’s File Sharing Platform

Dropbox facilitates collaboration by allowing users to share large files. Got a large Powerpoint, Photoshop or Sketch project that needs your team’s input but can’t fit in an email? Dropbox it. Dropbox now allows the full integration of collaborative apps, like DocuSign and Vimeo, so users can upload contracts, videos and other materials for team collaboration.


Box’s File Sharing Software

Box lets anyone, anywhere securely manage, share and access files. Companies can fully-integrate Box into their custom business apps, and the platform allows them to share their content (regardless of size) for collaboration purposes. Major universities like Cornell, Penn State, Yale and UC Berkeley have deployed Box as a tool for collaborating and safeguarding content.


Egnyte’s Content and Threat Management Platform

Egnyte’s platform allows for secure file sharing and content governance. The SaaS company lets teams upload their files from anywhere to collaborate and work on projects. Teams can use Egnyte’s platform to detect internal and external threats, taking steps to protect and recover any lost data.


Big Data Analytics Cloud Computing Examples

Because big data companies require massive amounts of storage and processing power for analysis purposes, lots of them turn to the cloud for greater amounts of both — plus enhanced security for business records.


Datadog’s Cloud Monitoring Platform 

Datadog allows organizations to take a deeper dive into their products and technology to better understand what is helping them grow and what can be optimized for better customer experiences. The scalable cloud monitoring platform is compatible with any stack, application or ecosystem, providing key insights on everything from network security to real user experiences for robust monitoring capabilities.


Collibra’s Data Intelligence Cloud

Collibra helps big data companies manage their cloud-based apps by providing frameworks for handling large amounts of data and automating processes to ensure that quality data is being ingested. One of Belgium’s telecommunications companies, Proximus, chose Collibra to help manage its data governance using the company’s cloud-based regulatory technologies.


Civis Analytics’s Customer Insight Software

Civis Analytics builds custom consumer analytics software for companies seeking better insights into customer habits. The company provides consumer research, social science and predictive modeling using cloud-stored data. Teams can also process data in their preferred programming language and develop automated data workflows with Civis Analytics’ platform.


SPINS’s Brand Intelligence Platform

SPINS uses the cloud to store the big data it collects for brands, retailers and CPG companies in the natural products industry that seek better insights into everything from consumer trends to day-to-day store operations. The company features a business intelligence platform, SATORI, which gives brands and retailers an in-depth look at nutrition and allergen information for natural food products via the cloud. 


Data Governance and Cybersecurity Cloud Computing Examples

Data storage is only one aspect of cloud computing. As cloud-based security companies attempt to outmaneuver hackers and stay ahead of cyber attacks, it’s also an increasingly secure way to protect sensitive data from cyber marauders.


HUMAN'S Cybersecurity Products

HUMAN offers a suite of cybersecurity products that enable brands to build comprehensive defenses against automated bot attacks, fraud and other digital threats. Its solutions cover everything from combating malicious advertising to identifying and blocking fake accounts, and HUMAN’s visibility and protections extend to cloud environments.


Palo Alto Networks’s Cybersecurity Solutions

Palo Alto Networks offers several cloud-based cybersecurity solutions for IaaS and PaaS technologies. The VM-Series protects private and public cloud deployments, while the company’s Traps protect clouds against zero-day threats. Palo Alto Networks also features cloud platforms like AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.


Zscaler’s Zero-Trust Exchange

Zscaler operates a zero-trust platform with the power to connect any user, device or application over any network, supporting cross-industry collaboration and remote work. The platform oversees 200 billion transactions per day and intercepts 100 million threats over the same time period, making Zscaler a world leader in enterprise-level cloud protection.


Carbonite’s Data Protection and Cloud Backup

The Carbonite cloud protects a company’s information from data loss and ransomware. By safeguarding critical business data endpoints, Carbonite can limit the number of security breaches that occur within the cloud. Businesses can install Carbonite Safe on laptop or desktop computers, hard drives, servers and other devices. The software then backs up folders, files, systems and other data to the cloud for secure storage.


Forcepoint’s Security Platform

The Forcepoint cloud platform acts as a cybersecurity safeguard for data, users and networks. The company integrates cybersecurity tools that help businesses integrate SaaS products, safely operate on the public cloud and even reduce security endpoints, so cyber criminals have less of a chance of infiltrating cloud data. Huisman, one of the world’s leading construction companies, tapped Forcepoint to create cloud-based cybersecurity tools to store and protect its intellectual property.

Rose Velazquez contributed reporting to this story.

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