A lot has changed in a short period of time due to the coronavirus outbreak. That’s true for individuals and families, as well as businesses. Working and learning from home has been, in most cases, the only option. Organizations already in the cloud have had an advantage, and those that weren’t already there are moving to the cloud as quickly as possible.
Cloud technology has transitioned from a future business goal for many to an urgent business continuity need for all. Here’s how the cloud is keeping organizations operating remotely through COVID-19, and how it’s changing the business landscape forever.
How Cloud Technology is Helping Us Through COVID-19
Supporting the Front Line
Cloud technology is supporting crucial first responders, health and emergency management organizations, and government infrastructure. It’s being used by these organizations in every way imaginable, from powering algorithms and running applications to keeping everyone connected and communicating remotely through healthcare-specific power applications.1
Cloud technology eliminates the need for physical data centers, which means critical business infrastructure, data, and applications can be managed and accessed from anywhere in real-time. IT administrators for cloud-enabled companies don’t need to be on-site to check, maintain and monitor networks and servers. That keeps more people safe, and business can continue operating no matter where their workers are physically located.
Enabling Remote Work
Before COVID-19, only 43% of businesses had a remote work policy in place, leaving many businesses rushing to find a quick solution to get their workers up and running remotely.2 This is where virtual desktop environments are lending a helping hand.
Azure-enabled Windows Virtual Desktop environments provide employees with access to critical data and applications from any device, inside or outside of the office. It’s a quick way to make files and applications available remotely (even legacy applications) from a familiar Windows 10 desktop interface, and IT administrators can add new configurations on the fly.
10th Magnitude is here to help you enable Windows Virtual Desktop quickly with our Windows Virtual Desktop QuickStart. Read more in WFH QuickStart: Getting Started with Windows Virtual Desktop.
What Does This Mean for the Future of Business?
Businesses Will Be Prepared for Future Disasters & Faster Recovery
Not only are cloud-enabled companies better prepared to weather future disasters, but they’re also positioned to recover faster from the impact of COVID-19 because they’re equipped to adapt quickly to new customer and market demands, giving them a competitive advantage.
An Era of Rapid Innovation & Disruption
The widespread adoption of cloud technology due to COVID-19 is opening doors to an era of rapid innovation and disruption. More businesses will have access to the agile technology platforms that the world’s best innovators rely on every day. It’s essentially putting the power of disruption in the hands of every business.
Of course, it takes more than tools to innovate and disrupt. It also takes a cultural shift to think differently, embrace change, and go beyond what’s been done before, but this crisis has also shown us all that adaptability is necessary to keep moving forward.
Remote Work Will Be the New Normal
According to Gartner, 74% of CFOs recently surveyed intend to move on-site employees remote beyond COVID-19.3 Enterprises have realized that telecommuters can be just as effective as on-site employees while significantly reducing the expense of commercial real estate.
Previous studies have also shown that remote workers are 22% happier, stick with a company longer, and report less stress, more focus and better work-life balance despite working over 40 hours per week 43% more often than on-site workers.4
To support an ongoing remote workforce with a smaller real estate footprint, companies will continue accelerating digital transformation, migrating physical data centers and modernizing applications to operate entirely from the cloud.
Business Continuity Plans Will Look Very Different
As coronavirus became increasingly widespread, businesses dusted off their continuity plans — many of which hadn’t been updated in years — and put them into action, resulting in varying degrees of success. Any gaps in those plans became immediately evident.
Beyond accounting for backups, many of those plans didn’t include technology at all, and most were meant for shorter emergency situations. They were not created to endure a months-long redistribution of employees with large portions of staff becoming unwell at the same time, along with critical supply chain disruptions.
Business continuity plans of the future will include a cloud-based remote access infrastructure that can be scaled up on the fly to support an entire workforce when needed. They should also include relationships with skilled, USA-based managed services partners that can help businesses handle increased IT operational workload so they can stay focused on their immediate business needs. Employees will also need to be prepared with the right training, technology, and culture for remote productivity.
Read COVID-19 & Business Continuity: Accelerating Transformation for more insight into what future business continuity plans need to consider.
Our COVID-19 Rapid Response Team is Here to Help
If you need help getting your business into the cloud quickly, enabling remote work, mitigating the risks of offshore outsourcing or reinforcing your business continuity plan with the agility of Azure technology — our COVID-19 Rapid Response Team is here to help. We’re Microsoft Gold Azure Expert Managed Service Providers and 100% USA-based. Get in touch to schedule a call today.