All Olympic systems to be on the cloud by 2018

Systems underpinning Olympic Game events will be run from the cloud by the time of the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea

Systems underpinning Olympic Games events will be run entirely from the cloud by the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Cloud computing will also be to run core summer Olympic Games systems for the first time at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Core event IT systems such as accreditation, workforce management and the volunteer portal will be run on a cloud platform developed by Olympics systems integrator Atos, working with suppliers Embratel, Cisco and EMC.

Atos and the International Olympics Committee will move all IT systems for the Olympic Games by 2018 to an Atos cloud (known as Canopy). This will be in time for the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. At the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games the results were delivered to the Olympic Games website over the cloud.

IT preparations for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games started in 2012 when the systems and infrastructure design began. This year the focus is on building the systems and testing facilities ready for integration and acceptance. Systems testing will begin next year.

Patrick Adiba, executive vice-president of sales, Olympics and major events at Atos said the Olympic Games is a perfect fit for cloud computing: “As an event that happens only once every two years, each time in a different location, and which needs a huge computing infrastructure and generates huge amounts of data.”

Atos said: "We see a paradigm shift – from a ‘build each time’ to a ‘build once’ model and delivering services over the cloud. Rio 2016 is a key milestone in this transformational shift.”

The project to implement the IT that will underpin the 2016 Games in Rio reached its first major target last month as the volunteer portal went live.

See table below for outline of the IT systems used for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

IT systems for the London 2012 Olympics 


Games management systems

Sports entries and qualification – collected and processed data on each of the athletes eligible to compete in the games.

Volunteer portal – co-ordinated volunteer applications.

Accreditation – identified accredited participants, managed registration, assigned access privileges and provideed access control information.

Workforce management – at work long before the games started, supported the HR department with all functions needed for managing, interviewing and training staff and volunteers.

Medical encounters – provided International Olympic Committee with statistics about medical incidents during the games.


Results information systems

On venue results system – delivered by Omega, provided results information for each olympic venue.

Commentator information system – displayed results at the venue broadcast sites in a fraction of a second and provided results to broadcasters almost instantaneously.

Print distribution – centralised database which fed event data and results to world press agencies and olympic officials.

Olympic officials and media – printed all the information about the games, including schedules and results.

Olympic data feed – provided competition data in a standard Olympic format to the world press agencies.

Myinfo+ – the olympic family intranet accessible to media, athletes and officials, provided details about the games, including biographies, background information, schedules, results and weather.


Read more on IT outsourcing