COVID-19 has undoubtedly changed the way that we all live. It has forced people to reinvent how they learn, work and stay connected, shaping new digital habits that will continue into the future.
The ongoing pandemic highlighted how indispensable cloud technology has become. Not only has it facilitated online shopping, home learning and a whole host of entertainment services, but it has enabled businesses to operate remotely during this period of disruption.
Even a few years ago, working from home with the level of ease that we have now would have seemed impossible. The development of cloud technology has changed the way that everyone works, allowing users to access business services from any location.
For many businesses, the transition to remote working was a seamless process, but for others, it was a logistical nightmare. Some organisations were limited by old technology and slow connectivity, and many lacked the expertise to set employees up to work remotely.
By using cloud computing services, many businesses have been able to maintain normal levels of productivity, collaboration and communication with employees dispersed in multiple locations. Not only has there been an increase in use of project management, video conferencing and file sharing tools, but also demand for secure cloud platforms, VPNs and remote desktop services.
Day to day productivity and business processes could have been brought to a halt without digital technology, and companies that are thriving are certainly those that embraced technology to drive their business forward.
Work from any location
Cloud technology enables employees to work from any location, as long as they have stable and secure internet access. With remote desktops or virtual desktop infrastructure, users can access their desktops as if they were working in the office.
Many companies will continue to offer remote working options for employees after seeing an increase in productivity and job satisfaction. In fact, 74% of businesses plan to permanently shift to more remote work post COVID-19, according to Gartner’s recent survey.
If the pandemic had happened even a decade ago, most businesses would not have had the tools, technology or resources to operate away from the office, and would have probably shut down.
Expanding with demand
With cloud services, businesses can scale up and down computing requirements and resources with ease. Cloud solutions are much easier to scale than traditional data centres and servers, so a business could temporarily scale back or increase resources to accommodate staff members or changes in traffic. Instant activation of services and speedy adjustments can also support growth and provide much needed agility.
As cloud solutions are cost-effective and significantly reduce outgoings on hardware, software and infrastructure, IT budgets are reduced. Remote working options may also be used as a cost-saving initiative due to the economic downturn, rather than having physical office space.
Using cloud technology for remote working situations improves security for many businesses, as they are no longer responsible for maintaining the underlying infrastructure. Cloud providers offer a range of security services including firewalls, data encryption, security patching and cyber security measures in place to protect customers.
Businesses also need to ensure that security measures are put in place for users that work remotely, such as cyber security training and policies, regular antivirus scans, access controls and use of VPNs.
Cloud services allow employees to communicate and share ideas whilst working remotely. Many cloud-based SaaS products allow users to work on group projects and track progress, which decreases the amount of time taken to complete a project and any unnecessary communication.
Project management and collaboration tools keep colleagues up-to-date with recent updates and changes, and several employees can work on the same centrally stored document at any given time. Edits and comments can be made for clients and colleagues to view and collaborate on, which draws teams closer together.
The pandemic has proved that business can operate at a high level of efficiency, even with employees working remotely. So perhaps staff don’t need to be sitting in offices in order to work collaboratively?
Whilst some larger IT projects may be postponed, most businesses will focus on digital transformation strategies for the remainder of 2020. With the services we now have access to, the possibilities are endless. Many businesses will make long-term commitments to providing flexible working from home options, as well as future-proofing themselves for any future lockdown situations.
The reality is that COVID-19 highlighted the importance of cloud computing, and if business owners had not been convinced of the benefits before, they are likely to be now.
Could your business benefit from using cloud hosting or remote working solutions? Get in touch with our sales team today on 0800 612 2524 to discuss your requirements.