Technology innovations support businesses, help maintain performance, and sustain productivity during an unexpected crisis. However, engaging employees through online resources continues to be a challenge.
Cloud computing has enabled on-site interaction irrespective of the location of the employees. It has empowered organisations to function normally in a distributed set-up.
The cloud-managed service landscape is becoming highly sophisticated and competitive. By 2022, up to 60% of organisations—or more than double the percentage in 2018—will use an external service provider’s cloud service offering.
Before we delve into the capabilities of the cloud, let us learn more about it.
What is Cloud Computing?
In simple terms, cloud computing enables the functioning of applications on the internet. Traditionally, business applications were dependent upon on-premise servers. Software and applications had to be physically downloaded in the facility server to allow uninterrupted access.
Once cloud computing came into the picture, users could access programs irrespective of their locations through the internet.
For example, when you update your status on social media, you use the cloud. If you are checking your bill details on the phone, you are on the cloud again.
So how does cloud adoption help businesses during a crisis? Let’s find out.
1. Enables remote work
This is the most prominent feature of the cloud. It enables businesses to be operational from anywhere on the planet. All you will need is a reliable internet connection to facilitate work.
Employees are not restricted to the device they use or where they connect from. This feature of cloud-based services has allowed business continuity to a great extent even during a global pandemic.
2. Enhances team collaboration
Cloud eases centralised access to business-critical information. Your team can simultaneously work on the same document from across the globe. Employees may edit, access, or share documents.
Cloud-based workflows and file-sharing apps update these documents in real-time and provide complete visibility to a decentralised team.
Furthermore, cloud-based VoIP systems enable seamless communication among team members from anywhere across the world. This telephony system can be accessed from a common number and can also be integrated with instant messaging, video conferencing tools, and other collaborative solutions.
VoIP solutions can also be integrated with different CRM and helpdesk software to enhance the team’s efficiency.
This again helps employees stay connected and work as a team during unforeseen circumstances.
3. Improves flexibility and scalability
Cloud-based applications are maintained by a dedicated cloud service provider. You don’t need to have an infrastructural set up in your facility to shift to the cloud. Similarly, you may increase or decrease your infrastructure based on your requirements.
If you find a spike in business needs during a crisis, the bandwidth of usage can be increased automatically. This can be restored once things come back to normal. This way, the cloud offers a high level of agility to businesses at times of disruptions.
4. Facilitates disaster recovery
Cloud backup is pivotal for businesses. Consider a scenario wherein you lose your data due to a crisis or a cyberattack. The complete technological landscape will become paralysed.
However, this isn’t the case with cloud communication. The cloud infrastructure saves a data backup on the cloud. This way lost data can be easily restored without disrupting business workflows.
The solution offers data restoration with uninterrupted business productivity.
5. Allows automatic system updates
Cloud communication service providers make sure to take complete charge of the services they offer. This may span across setting up the infrastructure off-premise to regularly updating applications. It also necessarily includes compliance regulations and security updates.
The service providers run security updates at regular intervals and ensure that your cloud environment is free from security threats.
This eliminates the need for you to deploy a team to check for system updates, thereby saving time and workforce. You are at the advantage of using this workforce to focus on core business activities at the time of crisis.
6. Reduces costs
Cloud communication services don’t require any infrastructure to be accommodated on-premise. All you need to do is choose a subscription-based model and start operating your applications on the cloud. This helps in reducing hardware costs for businesses.
During the event of an unexpected disaster, you will not need to worry about your hardware. All you need to do is inform your cloud service provider and make changes based on the increase/decrease in the business demand.
This kind of a flexible model saves cost on investment and maintenance, thereby letting you focus on other core business activities.
7. Boosts data security
Security is a pivotal aspect of cloud-based services. The cloud enables centralised access of data, irrespective of the device or location. Though this may improve the flexibility of access, it also increases the risk of critical business data.
94% of businesses showcased an improvement in security after switching to the cloud environment.
Especially during a disaster, sensitive business data can be more susceptible to malware and cyberattacks. Data on the cloud must be secured appropriately.
Organisations need not be worried about this aspect. Cloud service providers ensure regulatory compliance and authenticated access to devices. They make sure that access to data is provided based on the requirements of job roles.
Only administrators are granted complete access to critical information. Other employees are allowed to work on data that is required to accomplish their job duties.
This involves centralised management that further helps in reducing administration overheads.
8. Offers sustainability
In the current competitive scenario, sustainability is not limited to reducing paperwork in the office environment. It spans across addressing and controlling wastefulness at every step of the business. Adopting cloud communication helps businesses to improve sustainability with less carbon footprint.
The cloud infrastructure works on virtual products rather than physical infrastructure or devices. This supports environment proactivity and boosts energy efficiency also controlling system-related emissions.
Each time the world has faced a challenge, technological revolutions have risen up to the challenge and solved concerns. Cloud is one such emerging value that should be embraced to introduce a productive change in the current business landscape.
Hopefully, the above-mentioned points will provide a sneak peek into the several capabilities of cloud-based services and how it can help organisations during a crisis.
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