Tackling COVID-19: How Cloud Computing Throws a Lifeline to Businesses?
With the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in more 185 countries around the world, the usual socio-economic operations have been put on a sudden halt. It seems as if markets, offices, and public places have all been stopped mid-motion as the nations are struggling to get out of the crosshairs of the deadly virus.
In this situation, for the businesses to keep their wheels in motion, relying on IT, with a strong dependence on cloud technology has become a necessity.
We are facing a time when a majority of the workforce has taken to remote working almost overnight. And, for more reasons than one, Business Continuity Using Cloud Computing is the only solution left in our hands. In fact, this crisis has also led to a major divide in the demand and supply of the cloud services.
Microsoft has reported that the collaborative platforms of the company had 20 million regular users before the pandemic, which has now reached over 44 million. Furthermore, in the countries that have been the hardest hit, the demand for cloud computing during COVID 19 increased by eight times.
So, keeping all these factors in mind, let’s take a look at how cloud computing can become a lifeline to businesses amid the pandemic.
Reasons for businesses to need cloud adoption
Going by the recent reports on COVID-19, the cloud market worldwide is slated to reach over $295 billion by the year 2021. Though the demand for cloud computing services was already on the rise, the outbreak has skyrocketed it. Consequently, businesses are having to build a cloud adoption roadmap for finding their way out of the current crisis and carrying out their functions smoothly.
The ongoing crisis has made cloud computing the need of the hour. Right from the customers to the SMEs and enterprises, everyone needs it. Cloud computing offers viable solutions for the different challenges that can come in a business’ way in the present times.
Here’s outlining the most important benefits of the cloud to further understand its significance in the present crisis.
- No need to maintain an in-house IT setup
- Charges to be paid only for the services and the infrastructure used
- Building agile and scalable capabilities
- Reducing the time-to-market for critical applications and services
- Responding to market demands in time
With the benefits of cloud adoption being clarified, let’s understand why businesses need to get in touch with Cloud Computing Companies to refine their operational strategies.
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Role of cloud computing in handling consumer behavior changes
The pandemic has left the governments with no other options than to use social distancing and lockdowns for saving human lives. People are naturally spending more time on the internet as they are confined to their homes.
Be it reading the news, playing online games, streaming movies through the OTT platforms, connecting with family and friends through social media, or holding virtual meetings, the internet has become an all-time companion of the modern customer. In the last few months, teleconferencing applications, news websites, gaming platforms, and entertainment apps have all reported to have record number of downloads.
All this is the result of the increase in online activities because of COVID-19. In this scenario, cloud adoption is the key to help businesses seamlessly and successfully handle the changing patterns of users’ behavior.
Facilitating auto-provisions of the industry resources, downscaling and up-scaling of the server as needed, and offering viable disaster management plans are all possible through cloud services.
There is no denying the fact that the pandemic has meant dark days for the economy and the businesses world. But, it’s also true that cloud adoption can actually be a lifeline to businesses all over the globe.
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Building integrated business ecosystems through cloud adoption
Cloud adoption has brought significant changes in the landscape of the Information and Communications Technology industry. Reports suggest that more than 94% of companies already use cloud services, and nearly 83% of their workload will be put on the cloud by this year.
The major difference that the COVID-19 situation is going to make in terms of cloud adoption, especially in the developing economies, will be in the SMEs.
Given the challenges posed by the pandemic, the SMEs will realize the necessity of embracing cloud integration or formulating strategies for greater cloud adoption. This will be of immense help to SMEs in terms of remotely accessing the capacities of large data centers to level the playing field in a highly competitive market.
Effective cloud adoption refers to building integrated business ecosystems in the cloud to ensure:
- Efficient storage and management of enterprise data while maintaining the utmost level of security.
- Speedy processing of data and making it available on-demand
- The creation and distribution of new apps to the users
- The use of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to exchange information between applications
Now, the question that arises is whether the SMEs can build cloud adoption strategies on their own? Are their needs meet sufficiently by the present cloud service providers? The answer, of course, is no.
For harnessing the true potential of cloud adoption, companies require a strategic cloud partner. Going by the current scenario, companies will be dependent on external cloud services in the next few years for building hybrid cloud capabilities, multi-cloud capabilities, or native cloud capacities.
Moreover, an experienced cloud partner will also be needed by the companies for leveraging the main cloud adoption models like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).
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Cloud computing to deal with the unpredictability of business
As we all know, the pandemic was a totally unprecedented event. The world, with its businesses and governments, was not prepared to face a crisis of such epic proportions. However, we can’t forget that cloud adoption has actually made the world sail through during a time when the world economy could have face a bigger disaster.
Consider the following scenario to understand how true the previous statement was:
- The companies could send their workforce home for remote working almost overnight
- People had solutions ready to keep the boredom away even with social distancing and lockdowns
- Information and news are on your fingertips
- The financial wheel has not stopped rolling
- Virtual schooling was made possible by the educational institutions
- People could stay in touch with their friends and family
Cloud services are to be thanked for making all these possible. With cloud adoption supporting agility, flexibility, and scalability, it has turned into a feasible solution for the businesses to remain prepared to effectively deal with unpredictability and variability that comes with a pandemic like COVID-19.
Even though the pandemic dust will eventually settle down, the world would be changed forever. Digitalization would be the name of the game even for SMEs and many companies will keep relying on remote working facilities. The rural population will also get their taste of digital empowerment and cloud tech will be nothing new to anyone.
The digital revolution is upon us, where customers look for personalization and data security, and the workforce tries to adapt to new skills. At this juncture, cloud, along with other technology forces like the Internet of Things, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and more can help businesses in meeting all of these demands.