Since the advent of the
COVID-19 global pandemic, businesses have had to contend with a new normal.
Many organizations have severely reduced their operations or shut down
completely. Working from home is now a reality for large sections of the
workforce. Some companies like Twitter have even announced that employees can
work from home indefinitely if they choose.
With this trend in mind, the need for cloud computing services has increased greatly. A recent report indicates that in the next two years the cloud computing industry will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 12.5%. This future growth is encouraging, but could not be possible if not for the integral part reliable cloud services are playing in today’s response to the global pandemic. The extent and importance of this role are as follows:
Supporting Remote Work
Productivity is vital as organizations shift to remote models of working. This requirement extends to colleges and schools and even into socializing in the new normal. Nobody knows how long this requirement will continue. What is known is that cloud-based services offer high levels of flexibility, scalability, and efficiency. Cloud services can equally serve an underprivileged school in India as they can cloud computing Los Angeles.
In the recent past, demand for collaboration tools has seen unprecedented growth in platforms like Zoom and Slack. More entrenched productivity tools such as the highly-integrated Microsoft 365 are also responding to high demand. These tools are all cloud-based and their best-in-class conferencing and productivity suites all enjoy the security of the cloud. IT services do not have to be on site in that school in India any more than IT services Los Angeles.
Surge in E-Commerce
As people are stuck at home, the demand for retail services has risen greatly. The consumer goods segment will continue to expand their use of cloud offerings. Retailers were already migrating away from brick and mortar into the online space before the coronavirus arrived. As long as making a trip to the store is not an option during the pandemic, ordering online is the next best thing.
With many retailers already having established e-commerce supply chains, their ability to deliver goods from distribution centers to the home are proving invaluable. Retail supply chains have been commandeered to deliver medicines and personal protective equipment to the home in many countries. Extended supply chain services such as transportation are also benefiting from this surge in e-commerce.
Growth in the Healthcare Segment
Healthcare has come to the fore during the pandemic. It has shown a requirement for scalable and secure cloud infrastructure. This is necessary to manage patient information. With millions infected worldwide, it has taken the need for efficient and accurate computing to a new level of importance.
Ease of use, flexibility and speed are the watchwords. As the realization takes hold that the number of electronic health records might continue to increase, healthcare providers are waking up to the need for scalable and highly secure storage cloud solutions. With a premium placed on keeping essential workers out of harm’s way, it is important for hospital administrative staff to be able to work from home.
Collaboration between various private and governmental agencies has risen to unprecedented levels. Virus development projects are being shared by many countries and institutions of learning. Additionally, virus contingency management information is being shared by nations across the world. All these efforts are underpinned by highly scalable and collaborative cloud-based tools.
Entertainment Platforms Enjoying a Boost
What better way to spend the many hours of self-quarantine than to binge on TV shows? Video-streaming service Netflix reported a strong surge in new subscriptions since the enactment of lockdown orders in many countries. Rival streaming services have also not been left behind.
Not to be outdone, music service Spotify and many podcast and audiobook services have reported large jumps in membership. The gaming industry has also reported large increases in usage times. Associated services such as mobile networks and internet service providers have benefited from these enforced behavior changes.
Software as a Service (saas) Enjoys Overall Rise
The SaaS segment was already a growth area and its continued importance and growth potential has been revealed during COVID-19. Due to the many daily applications and tools driven by this service, the industry in its entirety is in the limelight. Service desks, accounting packages, customer relationship management, human resource management, and enterprise resource planning all rely on the SaaS model.
The new model of remote working depends on the streamlined continuation of business critical services such as payroll. Cloud service providers have been able to remotely manage and secure underlying infrastructure, allowing organizations to continue to function within new parameters and conditions. The whole cloud computing sector which includes Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service and others are projected to be swept along in the growth of the overall industry.
For as long as the end of the pandemic remains unknown, cloud services will continue to provide strategic flexibility and scalability for a number of businesses that have become integral to our lives. The virus response would certainly have been different in a time before cloud services. It is entirely realistic to imagine that effective social distancing would have been gravely hampered by the need for people to be on site to manage and control systems which are now more infinitely more reliable and can be managed remotely.
The continued growth of cloud services may currently favor sectors which are useful during a pandemic, but future prospects are robust across all sectors. There are also no geographical boundaries, with cloud services projected to grow in similar quantums in emerging markets such as the Middle East and Africa as much as in the Americas.
About the Author
Brent is the CEO of DCG Technical Solutions Inc. DCG provides the specialist advice and IT Consulting Los Angeles area businesses need to remain competitive and productive, while being sensitive to limited IT budgets.
Brent has been featured in Fast Company, CNBC, Network Computing, Reuters, and Yahoo Business. He also leads SMBTN – Los Angeles, a MSP peer group that focuses on continuing education for MSP’s and IT professionals. DCG was recognized among the Top 10 Fastest Growing MSPs in North America by MSP mentor.