The covid19 pandemic has caused a major disruption in the world economy. At the beginning of 2020, the Dow Jones was trading at nearly $30,000 and most experts and analysts expected the market index to continue its upward trajectory.
By the first week of May, the Dow Jones market index hit a low of 24,861, the lowest it has been since 2017. The major catalyst to this was the shutting down of large sections of the consumer economy and mass layoffs occurring all around the country. Those businesses that have managed to stay open have, for the most part, implemented a work from home policy that has been made possible due to cloud computing infrastructure. Here we will look at some of the most prevalent examples of how cloud computing infrastructure has allowed firms to stay open during this pandemic.
Here are few ways Cloud Computing Helped Businesses during Covid19
Provides A Work Platform: In order to work from home, employees require some kind of platform to operate on. There needs to be uniform systems that employees can access and interact with that allows them to perform their duties in a way that is accessible to other employees. Cloud-based software is the solution to this problem.
Because physical work environments are no longer viable during the pandemic, firms have turned to cyberspace to fill the void. Without these work platforms, companies would not be able to function with a work from home policy in place.
More Efficient Collaboration: One of the most difficult aspects of using an online workplace platform is information sharing. There needs to be a streamlined and ubiquitous way to send and receive information. Cloud computing offers file syncing, the ability to co-author and edit documents, applications for sharing information in a real-time meeting scenario, and many other useful tools.
Development Of Lean Solutions: In order to survive, businesses have had to lower their operating costs significantly. This has required a level of innovation that simply was not required in the last few years. Because businesses have fewer resources at their exposure they have had to come up with ways to increase efficiency to make up for it. Cloud computing software has become the go-to technology companies are investing in to accomplish this. For example, large accounting firms have been investing in SaaS options that allow for some of the more basic processes to become automated. In the pre-covid19 world, there was no need for this as the economy was doing well and businesses were generally making money. In the post-covid19 world, increasing efficiency has been a major concern.
Keeps Customer Base: The pandemic has been particularly difficult for businesses that require a storefront to operate. Closing their doors and turning customers away has created major revenue issues. Businesses in this position have responded by using cloud-based software services to allow customers to access their products and services. The most common example of this is Skip the Dishes or Uber eats. These services allow customers to continue making purchases from restaurants while staying in accordance with the social distancing guidelines.
Maintains Connectivity: The rise in popularity of Zoom is a great example of how important it is for people to stay connected during the pandemic. Many experts have argued that our ability to communicate with friends and loved ones has played a large role in our ability to effectively social distance and flatten the curve. Out of necessity, businesses have learned to implement communication tools that will undoubtedly be used even when the pandemic subsides.
Increased Customer Support: Anyone who has tried to contact their bank knows how much certain phone lines have been flooded with callers during the covid19 pandemic. This is a result of businesses having to do more with fewer employees. In response, many firms have employed AI and chatbot technology to increase their customer service platforms.
Indeed, the future will see an even greater increase in customer self serve options. The technology already exists but businesses did not have the need to make the initial investment to implement these tools. The pandemic has changed and businesses are looking to cloud-based solutions to meet specific needs.
Increased IoT Implementation: As people have been confined to their homes, there has been an increase in household items that are connected to the Internet Of Things. The internet of Things refers to a system of integrated computing devices all connected to the same network. The most common examples are items such as smartwatches and fridges, Google Home, and Alexa, as well as home control systems.
As people further implement the IoT in their home, businesses will have to ensure their products are optimized to interact with this system. Of all considerations, voice search is of particular importance. Businesses have been turning to cloud computing services to ensure that their products and services are included in voice search results.
Cost Reduction: Keeping cost down is a primary concern of businesses trying to navigate the post covid19 world. This is particularly true for businesses that have their employees operating from home. While many of them are still paying rent for their office or storefront, they are not being required to pay other overhead costs associated with running a physical location. When the world returns to normal, many businesses will likely continue to implement, at least in part, work from home measures in an effort to reduce costs.
If a business can reduce its onsite workforce by 35% it means they can rent a smaller facility and spend less on associated costs.
Conclusion: The earlier pandemics have not tested a neoliberal Kensyian based economy the way covid19 has. Past pandemics were either not as deadly or occurred under much different economic conditions. As the world moves closer to a level of normalcy it would be hard to imagine that many of the cost savings measures businesses have had to introduce will be scrapped altogether. This is particularly true when it comes to cloud computing services. Those who were skeptical about making the initial investment in cloud computing services are no longer skeptical.
Great article! Cloud has been extremely useful during the pandemic. It has even helped promote data interoperability, helped healthcare professionals collaborate and work towards containing the pandemic. I feel this also counts towards helping the businesses.