The cloud is an amazing technology poised to dominate the way we look at IT infrastructure. The most recent estimates of the cloud marketplace, compiled by Forbes contributor Louis Columbus in March 2016, put the cloud computing vertical at $110 billion in revenues in 2015. This was an increase of 28 percent over the previous year. In addition, according to Synergy Research Group, public infrastructure-as-a-service solutions grew the most, with a 51 percent year-over-year rate; private and hybrid cloud infrastructure grew by 45 percent.

This rapid expansion is a distinct indicator of the usefulness of the cloud and how resilient it will be in the years to come. Nearly every industry – from manufacturing to government – is utilizing some form of cloud to improve efficiency and reduce operational and capital expenses across the board.

Let’s take a look at a few key areas where the cloud is useful in specific industries:

1. Agriculture

Believe it or not, farmers use the cloud to support their industry. In fact, according to’s Tony Malkovic, smartphones and the cloud are going to be key for farmers in the future. By using smart technology, agriculturists can gather and interpret weather and crop data, making these tools integral to the industry. The Food and Agriculture Organization projected that world food production would need to increase by 70 percent by 2050 in order to accommodate the growing population, according to Forbes contributor Federico Guerrini. Therefore, smart farming and data analysis are going to be essential in helping up that production and supporting farmers in the process.

2. Analytics

Cloud-based analytic tools are also gaining popularity among small- and mid-sized businesses. According to International Data Corporation, the big data technology and services market is projected to grow at a compound annual rate of 23.1 percent from 2014 to 2019, and annual spending in 2019 is expected to be at $48.6 billion. Because the cloud is so powerful, these analytic tools are helping organizations become more efficient, among other important advantages.

As data continues to grow, so does the usefulness of cloud-based analytic tools.As data continues to grow, so does the usefulness of cloud-based analytic tools.

3. Health care

The medical services industry is one of the biggest use cases for cloud computing. Health care organizations are using the cloud to store data, keep patient information secure and collaborate on diagnoses — all of which translate to better care and patient outcomes in the long run.

According to Transparency Market Research, the global market for cloud computing in health care was expected to reach a value of $6.79 billion by 2018, growing at a compound annual rate of 21.3 percent from 2012 to 2018. Organizations are starting to view the cloud as something they can turn to for their computing needs, especially since both private and public cloud services strive to maintain strict compliance within the industry.

“Startups gain the opportunity to cut costs and explore new business opportunities.”

4. Startups

The cloud is essential to small businesses and startup organizations. When companies don’t have same amount of resources as a larger enterprise, finding a place to house critical data can be difficult. With the cloud, you can pay as you go, which is an attractive feature for smaller organizations that are poised to grow.’s Christopher Jan Benitez noted that startups, especially, can gain the opportunity to cut costs and explore new business opportunities as they crop up — being able to easily restructure a business is one of the biggest perks.

Cloud infrastructure is becoming a household term. The capabilities provided by these virtual environments exceed this list, as well. In the coming years, it will be important to keep an eye on the different abilities offered by the cloud and how disparate resources get delivered.