Cloud services and Covid-19
The current health crisis with the Covid-19 pandemic has affected and caused changes at all levels; from social relations to the economy. The uncertainty has shaken the world market, forcing businesses to rethink their way of operating. The global health crisis has also produced an economic crisis that has forced companies, regardless of their size, to seek solutions to survive with minimum expenses and with their employees confined to their homes.
From bars to restaurants, salons, clothing stores, supermarkets, among many other businesses, entrepreneurs in different industries are feeling the heat, as they battle to keep their brands afloat. Now, in the de-escalation, it seems that many of them may be reopening. But beyond the physical, there is a virtual world that has also been transformed with the crisis.
Covid-19 has turned the Cloud into a critical infrastructure
CloudThe pandemic has tested the ability of companies to be more efficient, and the Cloud has emerged as the leading solution that can help achieve those standards of efficiency. Consultants and members of the IT industry believe that because of the ability it provides to execute work remotely and because of the savings and flexibility it offers, the Cloud has become a strategic resource.
Companies that have taken advantage of Cloud services will feel less impact from the interruption of operations in different sectors caused by the Covid-19 emergency. This is because Cloud services are elastic and are charged based on what you use, so they are capable of absorbing peaks in demand; In addition, they have automated infrastructures that require very few personnel to operate them.
In fact, if you look back at the numerous Cloud services that have emerged in the last decade, you would think they were specially designed to handle an impending global demand shock, such that can only be caused by a pandemic. For an internal datacenter, which is not automated, and has a lot of staff, everything will become hampered in this period. But for a huge, uncrowded, automated datacenter that is armed to respond at scale, the effects of the crisis will be much less.
This is backed up by a study by Forrester Research, who asserts that the Cloud service segment within the ICT market will be the one that will experience the least impact due to the economic decline generated by the Coronavirus pandemic and the global oil crisis. (
For example M-IT Services has doubled within a year… not to brag but to show you that the demand for high-level IT solutions has gone through the roof. I personally have mixed feelings about this, yes I’m proud of our growth and that we can help more business owners solve their problems but on the other hand I see friends and relatives hit hard during this pandemic).Marcel Martens – M-IT Services
Now more than ever, companies require technologies that help them operate remotely; in addition to providing flexible scenarios for their business models. On the side of business continuity, they require backup and storage systems. Plus efficient ways to stay in touch with their co-workers. Having services in the Cloud is critical in these two senses. An economy that promotes remote work, electronic commerce, and remote learning activities will accelerate thanks to the contingency caused by Covid-19.
Before Covid-19, few businesses protected their data and workloads in the public Cloud, but now everyone is leaning towards Cloud technology. Forrester Research has even predicted that “In 2021, an additional 20% of enterprises will shift Disaster Recovery (DR) operations to the public Cloud — and won’t look back.
Cloud service providers are not seeing a traffic overload, rather what they are seeing is new traffic. It’s safe to say that Covid-19 has put Cloud services in the spotlight.
Opportunities created by Cloud services to keep your business relevant during the pandemic
Savings in operational costs, space, and energy:
Being online services, the installation of complementary software is not necessary, which reduces operational costs.
Likewise, the physical space to house large and expensive equipment is no longer necessary, which translates into lower rental costs and energy savings. In the US for instance, studies by the DOE (United States Department of Energy) for the year 2020, estimate a reduction of about 45% in energy consumption, compared to current growth trends thanks to the use of Cloud-based tools.
Many companies are being forced to close due to very high operating costs and in many cases, these costs can be considerably reduced by migrating to Cloud services. Companies can even decide to get rid of their offices and continue operating virtually after the crisis to avoid bankruptcy.
Cloud services are a true definition of elasticity par excellence, as they adapt to the client’s needs at all times. In this sense, if the client needs to increase or reduce their capacity, they are one click away from achieving it.
This means that if at any given time, your company must be in its minimum operation, it will pay only for what it uses, and if, on the contrary, it needs to operate normally again or has a sudden increase in its operational activities, the service will also adapt to your requirements by increasing capacity.
Teleworking (Stay connected with video conferencing):
One of the main characteristics of Cloud services in form of online platforms or stores is that you can access them from home, without moving.
You only need to have an Internet connection and a device from which to access. Video calls have managed to maintain – albeit in a different way – personal relationships and have made teleworking possible in many cases. One of them has been Microsoft Teams, which has been a game changer in this period of uncertainty. It is integrated in the Always Safe in Business packages M-IT Services offers. By doing so they keep all communications in one Cloud tool like office 365. This tool is deal for holding meetings or organizing talks and conferences, something that is already customary in what is baptized by some people as the “new normal.”
If you’re a school owner or you plan on starting one, Cloud services can help you survive in this pandemic:
Cloud services have allowed schools, especially universities to function even with Coronavirus still hanging over our heads.
Classes are now holding with the help of Cloud collaboration tools, and one provider leading the way is Microsoft, with Teams. This Cloud service by Microsoft offers unique permissions and features to teachers and students to have classes remotely. As the owner of the team, teachers have the exclusive ability to assign work, start meetings, share content with their class (team members), and much more.
Although it will never be the same as a physical class meeting, this Cloud service allows schools to continue with the routine of classes and tutorials, to which the centers and their staff were accustomed. Always taking into account personal cases, access to technology or the geographical situation of each one, platforms such as Teams or Google Classroom seem to be one of the most viable solutions. In any case, many universities or colleges are choosing to give more value to continuous evaluation.
Total accessibility from anywhere in the world:
Cloud solutions mean that files and projects are kept 100% on the web, which allows the client and their collaborators to manage and update their projects at any time and from any place just by having an Internet connection.
Having a Cloud solution is extremely convenient because you can manage practically the entire operation from anywhere in the world with very efficient costs. Also, due to this crisis, Amazon Web Services at some point made several premium services available to the world for free. Some of which were solutions for document management and video conferencing.
High safety standards:
Cloud services have security systems certified by third parties that the client “inherits” when contracting the services.
For example, AWS works with major clients like NASA and Netflix that require a lot of sophistication in terms of security, so even the minimum security standards of the service are very high. They include, for example, assistance in infrastructure security, policy and identity management, security monitoring, vulnerability management, and data protection.
Beneficial for startups
Cloud services are also very suitable for SMEs and startup entrepreneurs that have been hit hard by the global economic crunch caused by the pandemic.
This type of service is ideal for those who have limited resources to start up, as it does not require a large initial investment in sophisticated equipment, or more physical space and does not require the hiring of a specialized IT person. In addition, Cloud services contribute to the maximization of resources by making costs more manageable in relation to the needs of growth, energy consumption, and specialized human resources.
For many business owners, the quarantine has meant an increase in paperwork and bureaucracy.
Given the difficulty of approaching the usual institutions or centers, virtual signatures have become more relevant. Cloud services like Adobe Sign, DocuSign, among others are helping businesses to facilitate transactions while observing Covid-19 protocols.
These Cloud service providers allow you to sign electronically and securely, guaranteeing the legal validity of the documents, something that everyone is grateful for at this time. For example, signing contracts online was already a reality before the famous pandemic, but now it is something much more frequent.
How Covid-19 has caused a major explosion in streaming and virtual desktop Cloud services
Significant rise in streaming
Several companies have taken advantage of these moments of crisis and economic slowdown to improve their entire web architecture.
Video streaming services have grown 40% every month this year, in the United States alone, during 2019, 69.8 billion minutes of video were seen on the Internet, in the first three months of 2020, 161.4 billion minutes were seen.
This increase has been a great challenge for all streaming services in the Cloud. For this, companies have made use of “machine learning” applications which, using previous load data, allowed them to anticipate the video demand of users. That is why the use of the Cloud is so important, as it allows the rented infrastructure to be scaled and de-scaled at will, depending on demand.
But for the film industry, not only is “streaming” important, but also having collaborative services to create content in the Cloud. A 30-second TV commercial is 10 terabytes of storage, and 60 minutes of a series episode can add up to a petabyte of storage and transfer. The so-called “content-lakes” proposed by AWS, would allow all the participants of an audiovisual project to collaborate remotely, having all the content in one place.
The rise of virtual desktops and video calls
The service that will change the most after the crisis is customer service, which was forced to evolve from offices to the home. The possibility that they will not return to the office is looking quite high, thanks to virtual desktops and video conferencing services.
Factories like Volkswagen’s have also been forced to change, especially concerning all their suppliers and their logistics.
The use of videoconferencing will also spread once the confinement is over, both organizations and employees have become accustomed to them to be part of the collaboration tools available.
The current situation that various industries are going through, as a result of the pandemic, has required that many business and work models be rethought to make them more dynamic and flexible. Companies with robust servers installed in their offices have seen access to their important data practically impeded by social distancing and facility closure restrictions.
Furthermore, this aspect of closing facilities has also left them with significant rental bills and maintenance expenses for an infrastructure that they are not using. In this sense, Cloud services have presented a golden opportunity to cope with this “new normal”.