I previously wrote about identifying opportunities to further your mission with cloud services. Today, I’m sharing two great examples of how the cloud is helping health organizations of all sizes do just that.

One is the Department of Health in England and the other is a small startup company in Luxembourg. They are two very different types of organizations but they shared the same requirement: to achieve their mission, they both needed to scale fast and cost-effectively.

Department of Health in England
There are few websites in England bigger than the National Health Service’s NHS Choices-and even fewer that are more important to their visitors. So, supporting site traffic is a must-and controlling costs is also imperative. To meet that prescription, the website’s managers decided to adopt Microsoft Azure. And they were able to beat their own deadline to implement it by a month.

Not only did Azure readily handle an all-time-high figure of 52 million visits in January of 2015 (up from 43 million in January 2014), but it supports NHS Choices at an annual cost that’s less than 40 percent as much as its previous hosting provider. Plus, Azure meets the risk and security requirements for NHS Choices by design according to Cleveland Henry, NHS Choices Delivery Director at the Department of Health’s Health & Social Care Information Center (HSCIC). The folks at HSCIC are responsible for the delivery of NHS Choices. They say that, in addition to scalability and cost savings, they’re benefiting from the agile and open development platform Azure offers-citing that their experience with Linux and Ruby on Azure is very positive.

As a small startup with big plans for its healthcare search website, Medihoo needed fast, powerful search capabilities that didn’t require a heavy investment in new infrastructure. The company chose to build its site on the Microsoft Azure cloud platform and take advantage of Azure Search. The solution offers fast performance and comprehensive functionality, as well as geospatial and multiple-language support. Medihoo now can help everyone-especially expatriates and travelers-find high-quality healthcare no matter where in the world they are.

In other words, this small startup company with a limited IT budget was able to immediately go global by taking advantage of the instant scalability and cost-effectiveness of the cloud. “They had limited resources, but they wanted to scale the solution globally and make sure they could continue scaling as the solution grew and added more healthcare provider information,” says Rik Delva, Project Manager at RealDolmen, Medihoo’s technology partner. “That’s why we recommended Azure. It supports the ‘start small, scale fast’ scenario Medihoo needed and helps them keep operational costs low.”

Check out both websites: NHS Choices and Medihoo. Also, check out the Medihoo app. And consider the benefits of the cloud for your own organization. If you haven’t already, you can map your journey to the cloud with the help of the four-block quadrant I shared in a previous blog. If you need further assistance charting your course or have any questions or feedback, please let us know via email, Facebook, or Twitter.