From the infinite scale of modern business to the rapid response to COVID-19 enabling millions of people to work remotely, it’s hard to imagine a world without cloud technology. At no other point in time has there been such a need for the availability of IT resources enabled by the cloud than during this coronavirus pandemic.
The coronavirus has ignited the world’s largest work-from-home experiment; companies suddenly have to enable a mobile workforce. Rife with technical ramifications and considerations, the notion of remote work has emerged a necessity, requiring businesses to consider how they will continue operations.
Many of us have become digital nomads, working from remote locations and dependent on technology for the most basic tasks. While technology has played a critical role in helping companies navigate through all the uncertainty that 2020 has brought, it is natural to wonder how businesses will emerge from this pandemic and how technology will be used moving forward.
The cloud continues to transform connectivity between people and businesses on a global scale. Coronavirus has pushed the majority of IT enterprises to adopt a work from home model. Thus, there is an increased demand for cloud communication and collaboration services across the globe. For example, digital productivity and collaboration tool providers such as Microsoft and Zoom are witnessing massive upticks in usage across the world.
Cloud-based tools can drastically improve a team’s efficiency while removing many of the headaches you might have become accustomed to with on-premises systems.
Here are some practical advantages of cloud-based solutions for your remote workforce:
One of the greatest overall advantages of expanding your business into the cloud is the powerful mobility and freedom that cloud technology provides. Implementing a cloud-based storage system allows you and your entire team to access all of the information you need from anywhere that has internet access. This puts an end to tedious email threads between departments trying to track down documents as everyone can find what they need within the shared system.
Even in the event of internet outages or lack of connection, information stored on cloud-based servers can always be downloaded and saved temporarily for later use offline.
Ease of recovery
When an entire team is working remotely, Murphy’s Law is put to the test. Laptops crash, coffee spills and important documents can be lost in the blink of an eye. To make matters worse, a separated team doesn’t have the same level of access to IT experts that can save the day and recover lost files.
But if you implement a cloud-based filing system, what would otherwise be a catastrophe is only a minor blunder. Connected computers can automatically backup case files or emails to cloud servers for easy recovery in the case of a disaster. You don’t need to worry if something is physically damaged or lost, which is a lifesaver for remote teams.
As mentioned above, resources in the cloud can be easily stored, retrieved, recovered or processed with just a couple of clicks. Users can get access to their works on-the-go, 24/7, via any devices of their choice, in any corner of the world as long as you stay connected to the internet.
On top of that, all the upgrades and updates are done automatically, off-site by the service providers. This saves time and team effort in maintaining the systems, tremendously reducing the IT team workloads. In addition, it greatly reduces the amount of downtime or IT interruptions that your team may encounter.
Cloud is helping to tackle disaster recovery situations using distributed cloud IT systems. Owing to the lack of on-site IT personnel amidst the lockdown, enterprises are leveraging cloud capabilities to check, maintain and monitor their server and storage installations in datacenters. Businesses are using the cloud effectively to create resilient and disaster-averse systems anywhere across the globe to cater to a remote workforce and protect data and business application integrity as well.
Collaboration tools for productive teams
The growth of remote teams has gone hand-in-hand with the explosion of affordable and easily accessible online task sharing and video conferencing platforms. And with the emergence of collaborative tools, we are seeing exciting new and innovative ways to communicate, work and learn together – regardless of our physical location.
In the opening months of 2020, Zoom has entered the collective consciousness and is synonymous with working from home and staying connected. This is reflected in the incredible growth of its market value – an estimated $48 billion.
In addition to Zoom, there are numerous reliable and cost-effective alternatives, including Cisco Webex, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams and, of course, Skype. The great thing about modern video conferencing platforms is the ability to not only talk to fellow participants, but also share presentations, record meetings and conduct polls.
Security is a common concern for many organizations. With a cloud-based system, your files and information are kept on an extremely safe, isolated server with more technical security than you could ever invest in on your own. Cloud-based computing enables you to focus less on security and more on your product or business.
Ultimately, security depends on trust and, in many cases, that trust is better placed in the hands of your cloud provider. The reality is that cloud providers are likely to have far more security expertise than your own organization.
Furthermore, additional security measures can be implemented, such as single sign-on (SSO) protocols or a virtual private network (VPN). These greatly reduce the risk of important files being mishandled or stolen. This is extremely important for many government agencies and law firms that work with sensitive information.
Scalability in the context of cloud computing can be defined as the ability to handle growing or diminishing resources to meet business demands in a capable way. In essence, scalability is a planned level of capacity that can grow or shrink as needed.
Before the arrival of the cloud, adding extra server space involved having someone install hardware and then paying for its maintenance. With the cloud, you remove the limit to the physical size of your server environment, allowing you to support the growth or change in your business over time without any interruption in your business flow.
Modern organizations have always counted on digital infrastructure to support their businesses. With the onset of restrictions COVID-19 has created, more companies are recognizing the unquestionable value that cloud delivers. Perhaps the most beneficial aspect of cloud technologies is the flexible options they provide; even more so now in this time of crisis, when companies need solutions they can implement and test quickly.
Today, more than ever, the cloud is a partner to business, and a vast, never-ending network of cloud-based systems has enabled the world around us to stay up and running throughout this global pandemic.