To understand the eclecticism of the enterprise cloud, one need look no further than – well, anywhere. In fact, no matter where you look, the enterprise cloud is being harnessed by a lot of organizations to speed up processes, optimize business and create a better company atmosphere. As the diversity of operations within the cloud illustrates, its applicability truly knows no bounds. Companies of all kinds are being drawn to the cloud not only because of what they know they'll get, but because of the unknown possibilities that can only be realized after migrating to a cloud service provider. In order to directly illustrate the eclecticism of the cloud, we've chosen to highlight two burgeoning and highly different operations in the cloud: free gaming and government records-keeping. Disparate as these two things may be, they are united by the opportunities for efficiency and growth enabled by the cloud.

Gaming moves into a new frontier with enterprise cloud option
As with any other industry, the gaming sector seeks to generate revenue from the people who choose to play its offerings. But according to CloudTweaks, there is an increasing trend among game developers to adopt a format for consumer play that appears, on the surface at least, to be somewhat counterintuitive: Free to Play cloud gaming. This idea is exactly what it sounds like: instead of making users pay to play a game, certain game developers will simply decide to upload most of the game to the cloud, enabling users to play without paying.

So what exactly is so lucrative about a gaming format that seems tailor-made to only lose money? First of all, players are 10 times more likely to clock into a free game than its paywall counterpart. And as far as ostensibly free games generating money, the answer lies in the idea of the microtransaction. Think of a transaction as the act of purchasing an online game. With the prevailing switch toward the cloud-based Free to Play model, this transactional format simply disappears. But that does not mean the money goes away. Instead, a process called minrotransactions takes place, wherein players make financial exchanges within the game to, for instance, open up a new level of gaming or unlock a hidden ability. However small microtransactions are, they are still bringing in money, and considering the degree to which free games surpass pay-to-play games in terms of users, it may not be long before microtransactions usurp transactions altogether.

The fact that such microtransactions are only enabled via the cloud points to one way cloud computing can serve to enhance an existing process, and bring out possibilities for both providers and players that were once not feasible.

Shifting a digital archive to a cloud service provider
The government represents one of the furthest things from the online gaming community. And yet just as gamers are discovering ways to harness the cloud for better functionality, so too are governmental entities. One example of this is the Archives of Michigan, which according to MINBC is moving its digital records to the cloud. The records that will be making their way to a cloud platform date back 40 years, well beyond the advent of the Internet.

The shift of archives to the cloud is happening for two key reasons. First, it presents a cost-effective measure that will alleviate the financial burden on the state. And second, the migration will make public access to archival materials significantly easier, thereby encouraging government transparency and public awareness. Thanks to Michigan's cloud move, historians and lay persons alike will be able to better familiarize themselves with the state's history.