As governments all over the world implement lockdowns and community quarantines, people and businesses rely on technology to continue with their lives. Deprived of their usual ability to move around physically, they turn to the internet and various web tools to continue to work, conduct business, or entertain.
The ongoing pandemic demonstrates how cloud computing has become essential in the modern world. Many of the conveniences and services available online are made possible by the cloud. From games to productivity apps and the software used by businesses and institutions, there’s a vital role cloud computing plays.
Enabling dependable online commerce
Amidst the lockdowns, there is still the need to get food and supplies. Almost all online retailers rely on the cloud to operate especially as they face a surge in transactions.
Stores that still use traditional web hosting are likely to experience downtimes as they run out of network resources to handle the drastic increases in traffic. Cloud hosting solutions are highly scalable, so a sudden rise in traffic is unlikely to disrupt business.
Additionally, cloud hosting providers are more equipped and experienced in dealing with cyber-attacks. They can protect their servers from DDoS, hacking, and other threats better than organizations that operate on-site servers. This means that cloud solutions help minimize instances of downtimes brought about by cyber-attacks.
It’s also worth highlighting how the cloud helps cybercrimes such as carding or credit card theft. As carding online fraud (credit card stuffing) operators turn to the dark cloud to make their schemes work, reputable cloud service providers help create a formidable barrier against cybercrimes. They help ensure that networks remain malware-free and that anomalous activities are detected and stopped as soon as possible. Legitimate cloud operators usually work with security firms, researchers, and law enforcement officials to keep cyber threats at bay.
Supporting health services
A report by West Monroe Partners says that the healthcare industry leads the finance and even the energy and utilities sectors when it comes to cloud use. Many hospitals, healthcare institutions, and government health service agencies have digitalised and brought their data to the cloud to optimise services and maximise patient outcomes.
This early cloud adoption is a big benefit in the fight against the pandemic as it improves on the ability to analyse relevant data to improve response. Cloud computing is more than just about data storage. It also lowers IT costs for health facilities as they avoid the need to train personnel, purchase equipment, and provide physical space for the IT people and hardware. Additionally, it eases interoperability by enabling data and system integrations.
Moreover, the cloud supports telemedicine. Remote data accessibility and interactive online tools make it possible for doctors and other health workers to provide services from a distance. Telehealth is becoming more useful as people try to avoid personally interacting with other people. It’s useful for diagnosing certain types of conditions as well as for the processing of healthcare claims.
Facilitating remote work
While not all kinds of work are compatible with telecommuting, cloud computing provides significant productivity improvements for those that are. Back office work, accounting, teaching/training, programming, web design, writing, editing, engineering, online marketing, consultancy, and various other jobs can be relegated to a remote work arrangement with relative ease.
Websites such as Upwork, Guru, and Freelancer.com use the cloud to enable convenient access to their respective services from anywhere. Similarly, teleworking tools such as TeamViewer, Skype, ClickMeeting, and Slack also rely on the cloud for their continuous and dependable operation. Even the newly popular teleconferencing platform Zoom, which is being used by various media networks worldwide, is powered by cloud technology.
Teleworking already existed before the rise of cloud computing, but it used to be rife with inefficiencies and technical difficulties. Accounting tasks, for example, can be completed at home and the documents sent to the office via email or some other file sending methods. The problem is that if there are data errors, correcting and updating the accounts and reports can be a tedious process. In contrast, when doing accounting using interconnected systems and documents saved on the cloud (accessible to multiple users simultaneously), data inconsistencies are avoided and mistakes are rectified promptly.
Entertaining those sheltered at home
Physical distancing is a struggle not only when it comes to obtaining food and supplies. The prolonged isolation and inability to do the usual routines can also take its toll on mental health. Fortunately, the gadget and internet age offers a multitude of options for entertaining at home without the need to personally interact with other people.
Netflix, HBO Go, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and several other streaming services provide extensive lists of movies and series to binge watch on. For video gaming enthusiasts, online games on mobile devices or consoles can be a viable pastime. There are also entire industries built around game streaming–sites like Twitch for instance. On the other hand, social media activities are having a massive bump during the forced quarantine periods. Many are also doing vlogs as a way of entertaining people, inspiring others, and making some money on the side. Then, there’s the TikTok phenomenon.
All of these entertainment activities allow people to have fun and some form of connection with others online to address boredom and prevent more serious issues such as cabin fever. They are made possible by cloud computing. Without cloud technology, sites and web services will struggle to cope with the traffic surge, causing them to suffer downtimes and frustrating users.
The cloud is indispensable during a pandemic
Imagine the world without cloud computing. It may not collapse, but it will surely be mired by inefficiencies and a debilitating lack of options to go on with day-to-day living. The absence of cloud solutions would mean a long spell of boredom and inconvenience for many people. For businesses, it can result in interruptions in commercial activities without viable alternatives. The cloud has brought stability and flexibility for web-based platforms and services, so that they can continue working without getting overwhelmed by the sudden rise of people going online to do business, work, or play.