It’s remarkable the changes in both equipment and performance in the Winter Olympics over the last 20-30 years. The skis, the sleds, the improvement in skating difficultly, and the numerous new events just to name a few. Juxtapose that with the classic Olympics events that keep us coming back – – downhill skiing, figure skating, Nordic skiing, bobsled… The beauty of the Olympics is the combination of classic events coupled with athletes and innovative equipment and training techniques. In the same spirit of innovation, the companies promoting and delivering the Olympics are also leveraging new technologies for innovation and improvement of the experience for the consumers.

Enter Cloud.

Back in 2014, the lead systems integrator for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) pledged that the systems underpinning Olympics Games events would be run entirely from the cloud by the 2018 Winter Games in PyeongChang.

They made good on this promise, and the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics in South Korea are the first to see all critical systems in the cloud and managed remotely.

This now creates re-usable systems for all future Olympics, instead of building new systems for each Olympic event, which will dramatically reduce costs for the host countries. All 12 venues in PyeongChang are cloud enabled, and through the cloud, results from the games can be delivered to the media in 0.3 of a second.

AWS’s rival, Alibaba’s, cloud infrastructure underpinned the PyeongChang games, and the Chinese behemoth signed a multi-year cloud services deal with the IOC that will run to 2028. Alibaba’s cloud infrastructure and services will be employed at the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics and in Alibaba’s home turf in 2022 at the Beijing Winter Games.

From the Managed Services perspective, the “Olympics in the cloud” is particularly interesting. For the first time, all the systems testing and management were done remotely, saving significant money and on-site resources.

So, if “all-in” cloud migration and cloud managed services make sense for the Olympics…isn’t the opportunity for value something to be considered for regular organizations?

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