The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in millions of students studying from home as well as employees working from home. With cloud computing, organizations are an essential link that keep many businesses and schools operating. This massive shift to social distancing has driven cloud computing to greater scales, beyond anything previously experienced. Cloud computing has become vital tool for students and employees in respect to communication.
With great advancements, cloud operated companies can now handle this massive usage surge exceptionally well. Microsoft reported a usage increase of 775% since the pandemic started and has moved to prioritize COVID-19 related workloads. While Microsoft did admit that they have not been able to maintain their 99.9% uptime availability target, there have been no major outages or disruptions to this time.
The cloud’s ability to scale on demand has been a major lifeline for many businesses and some cloud companies have been offering free conferencing and collaboration services to businesses. However, the quick growth of cloud dependence for students and employees has resulted in another type of increase – cybersecurity incidents.
Aside from security threats, are there other barriers facing cloud computing resources? Let’s explore a few factors.
Many organizations prohibited remote access because of security concerns as well as regulatory obstacles. While there are some public cloud vulnerability issues, an on-premise workplace can still be the point of a cyber-attack. Health organizations were hesitant to adopt any form of remote work model, with fear of breaching regulatory models such as HIPAA. Now, the current situation of hospitals being the forefront of the COVID-19 crisis and facilities are trying to keep staff safe while operating, remote work accessibility has become a priority.
Hospital enterprise software is rapidly working to provide acceptable patient information security, new billing codes, and cloud systems that can support and adhere to existing governing privacy regulations.
While the risk that personal devices being used to work at home like laptops, phones and even webcams may not be adequately protected from malware, the technical literacy of users is also a concern. Remote workplaces provide openings into personal data which can accidentally be shared. Businesses need to have security systems in place to help guard against intrusion methods and be able to provide some guidance to transition employees into successfully working from this new and sometimes isolating cloud computing environment.
Because of the forced shift for many businesses and educational facilities to cloud technology, the future is likely to see a better blend of co-located and remote business models. In essence, more fluid hybrid models will be established to support business operations which also build resilience and maximize the use of real estate resources. The future will also likely see less distinction between, say ‘online’ and ‘physical’ classes or business appointments. As an example, if a school board embraces the collaboration of cloud infrastructure and systems to support its programs, there wouldn’t have to be cancelled classes as a result of inclement weather days. It will certainly be interesting to reflect in another year, how the coronavirus impacted cloud computing.
To learn how your business can take advantage of the best cloud computing resources to stay secure and support your workforce, get a free assessment from MBC today.