The vision is chilling. It’s another busy day. An employee arrives and logs on to the network only to be confronted by a locked screen displaying a simple message: “Your files have been captured and encrypted. To release them, you must pay...”

Did Cloud Computing Win New York Giants the Super Bowl?

Did Cloud Computing Win New York Giants the Super Bowl?

By now you know: the Giants dwarfed the pompous Patriots in what’s being deemed one of the oddest battles in Super Bowl history.

Eli Manning summoned one of his signature fourth-quarter drives to score the winning touchdown in an eleventh hour finish. His talent, alongside a formidably capable fleet of fellow players and coaches, was verified this weekend as being of the ultimate in championship caliber.

Yet could cloud computing have played a role in Manning and the Giants sequoia-sized finish? Growing in reputation is the capacity of the cloud to boost and reinforce the skills and promise of professional sports teams in a mood to embrace cutting edge technology. Spokespeople for the winning New York Giants team are remaining mum about its engagement in cloud computing. Yet an exploration of just what’s possible for a high-profile athletic organization in the cloud provides an interesting stimulus for thought.

What is a sports franchise anyway but a well-muscled and multi-person metaphor for cloud computing: a craftily composed conglomerate (a team bolstered by fans and big-money investors) designed to share a pool of resources (the acumen of players, the intellect of coaches) that can be harnessed easily and on call (game day, of course) wherever they be needed (both on and off the playing field)?

The cloud endows coaches, team owners, and other staff to keep track of their practices and meetings to the minutest detail. It can also build and nourish a dynamic setting for players to absorb and retain key information for the gridiron.

New companies such as Servasport are creating software draped in cloud technology that specifically addresses athletics organizations; beyond just social network integration, the software also provides such amenities as data capture on stakeholders and real-time, player-coach management and communication.

Crystal clear and lively discourse on the field is nothing new to the sport of football, which has employed technology both new-school (headsets, digital on-the-wrist playbooks) and old-school (a good old fashioned yelling, complete with spittle) for decades. Yet the cloud can potentially push the forms of interaction between figures on every strata of the field to new levels of nuance and sophistication. The ability for a team to communicate with one another, wielding information guarded in a remote server, could potentially revolutionize how coaches disseminate vital info to their players as they go for first down.

Returning to the Giants: did they or didn’t they incorporate the cloud into their obviously dynamite strategy? So far, the verdict is still outstanding. We can’t blame a team for remaining silent on their most treasured technologies, at least so soon after the fact. But one thing’s for sure: savvy football fans will keep their ears open for news of the cloud to factor into franchises — and future Super Bowl wins — throughout this year and beyond.

By Jeff Norman

About Jeff Norman

Jeff Norman is a freelance writer currently based in New York City. He's moved into writing about cloud computing from substantial work in culture and the arts. He earned his undergraduate degree in English at Stanford and has studied at Oxford and Cambridge.