How Cloud Computing is Helping Businesses Through Coronavirus
In analysis / By Charlotte Tobulevicius / 03 April 2020
The Coronavirus pandemic has changed how everyone is living their daily lives, as countries have placed restrictions on people’s movements to fight the virus. The biggest impact has been felt by businesses where usual operations have been disrupted by the crisis because offices and workplaces have been closed to limit the spread of Covid-19.
During this time, businesses with a cloud computing infrastructure in place - whether on-premise or outsourced - have been able to continue quite smoothly during the disruption. In this blog, we look at how cloud computing is helping businesses and their customers through the Coronavirus pandemic.
Explosion of Remote Working
The current crisis has seen an emergence of remote working, as staff are forced to continue their daily routines in the safety of their own homes. With offices closed around the world, businesses that have the infrastructure in place to continue operating online are doing so in large numbers. With cloud computing options such as hosted desktops available to many workers in 2020, the move to remote working has never been easier.
According to FlexJobs, remote working has grown 44% in the last five years and 91% over the whole decade. With more businesses putting a remote working policy in place, a huge amount of the modern workforce have already started enjoying the benefits that remote working can provide: including not having to commute and having a feeling of autonomy. Prior to the pandemic, businesses were also getting benefits from remote working, including having access to a larger pool of talent, lower office space costs and increased productivity.
Those who were ahead of the game on remote working are seeing greater benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. While no working from home policy is ever created in the expectation of a crisis, its existence has provided businesses with a safety net to keep running from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
Some consider this event as a turning point for remote working, with many workers seeing it as an opportunity to prove it works to their employers. For others, it will only confirm what they already know.
Reduced Stress on Resources
With staff working from home, in-office resources aren’t being stressed. All work is being looked after by the cloud, rather than any in-house servers. Businesses that use cloud solutions such as Microsoft Office 365 can work safely from anywhere in the world, knowing that Microsoft is handling the biggest weight of applications and document storage. With everything stored in the cloud, all staff members can access what they need while they stay at home.
Cloud Services Keep Colleagues Connected
Cloud services also provide colleagues with the software required to continue to communicate with each other while remaining out of the office. With cloud services such as Office 365, every user can still create documents and collaborate with each other in one place. As documents update live, no matter how many people are in the document at any one time, everyone can keep up with the latest developments of a project.
Microsoft Teams is also a popular tool that is keeping businesses going during this time. Not only does it connect with every Office 365 app to ensure colleagues see all updates in the business, but it also has voice and video conferencing capabilities, ensuring important meetings can still take place remotely.
Other apps seeing huge usage right now include Slack, which includes both chat and video calling capabilities. Zoom, the video conferencing software, has seen a 50% increase in its shares in March alone as more people use the app to have meetings.
Whether you use Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zoom or other similar tools, it’s clear how vital these apps are for business continuity during difficult times.
Dependence on Online Businesses
If your business runs an online store, you may have seen demand for your products increase. As more people depend on online delivery, rather than face-to-face purchases, your website must be able to handle such an increase in demand. Websites hosted on a cloud platform are prepared for this eventuality. As owners can scale up the space needed during busier times, users are getting the customer experience they need at a difficult time.
In many ways, cloud computing is an unsung hero for businesses at this difficult time. With organisations being able to continue as normal, their clients and customers have also benefited from services running normally as well. Cloud computing will continue to serve businesses throughout this difficult time and is sure to remain a key component of operations in the future.