WFH: Why Cloud Computing Makes Sense Post Covid-19

In 2002, SARS caused employers to encourage contactless work-from-home (WFH) environments. However, the trend of remote work and video conferencing did not last. This was in part due to the clunkiness and costliness of installing video conferencing and remote servers at the time. However, the unprecedented outbreak of the corona virus has shown cloud computing technology is now at a stage where companies can easily deploy, use and afford the critical services cloud computing provides. 

But will remote work and cloud computing last after the pandemic? As you’ve probably guessed, unequivocally the answer is yes. A new report from MariaDB on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic already shows increased usage of cloud computing platforms and more organisations planning permanent WFH options as the ‘new normal’. Experts cite efficiency, cost-effectiveness and flexibility as contributing factors to this technological trend.

Cost-Effectiveness, Efficiency and Flexibility

First and foremost, there’s the bottom line to consider. As vendors from China continue to produce standardised components, video conferencing devices are becoming widely distributed and increasingly affordable. Similarly, streamlined cloud and SaaS technology, lets companies increase capacity easily with less investment in hardware and facilities. A lack of overheads – less office space, less commutes and business trips, even less staff due to extended abilities of existing teams, create space for greater focus on employee productivity. There is even market feedback to suggest remote workers are less likely to take sick leave and associated absences. Finally, cloud computing provides infrastructure that builds-in flexibility. This may be increasingly important in a world experiencing disruptions such as extreme weather conditions and pandemics.

What Are the Issues Cloud Computing Will Face?

From an IT standpoint, securing the infrastructure of remote work so it is secure, scalable, manageable and monitorable, will be a challenge to undertake. Adjustments to increased cybersecurity measures, data privacy collection and central management will require comprehensive provider support. Employee education programs may even need to be installed so workers can navigate their work tools securely. 

From a worker standpoint, concerns about company culture, productivity as well as increased online monitoring are valid. However, arguably these issues can be solved with non-invasive productivity quotas and management tools, installation of collaborative software, such as Slack and Discourse, as well as recognition of different work styles and co-working space expansion. 

No doubt, long term cloud computing technology will take time to properly execute and adjust to. However, the disruptions from COVID-19, and probability of future disruptions, show it is possible working cloud environments are the future of IT infrastructure for all companies. There has never felt like a more prudent time to move into the cloud. 

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