The Covid 19 pandemic is accelerating the digitalisation of the economy and society on an unprecedented scale. Cloud services are proving to be a fast and efficient solution in this phase. What does this mean for companies?
Covid-19 is a massive driver for digitalisation. This finding has been repeated again and again since the outbreak of the pandemic – and especially since the national lock-downs from mid-March 2020.
And indeed, much has changed. Working from home has become the new norm, video conferencing is now commonplace and remote working and collaboration will remain even after the lockdowns end. In addition, everyday life with social distancing is also driving the adoption of more digitalisation into areas like schools and health care.
These are the most visible changes, but at the infrastructure level, a fundamental change is taking place. Cloud services have become essential to keep the most important parts of a business running. They ensure the smooth integration of data into employees’ home offices and can be set up at short notice. They power most e-commerce systems, which are being used more than ever before. And they offer the security, continuity and flexibility needed in times of crisis by delivering exactly the resources that are needed at any given moment
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What we are observing here is most likely the new status quo – the further digitalization of the economy and society – and it has been accelerated faster than futurologists could have dreamed of just a few months before the Corona/Covid-19 crisis.
But what does this mean for companies?
After a phase of intuitive crisis management, they must adapt their systems to the new status quo. While cloud services are a quick solution in times of crisis, they can develop to their full potential sustainably as part of an overall digital strategy. And this is where decisions should be made carefully.
One example: a large proportion of the videoconferencing and collaboration applications that European companies have been using to an unprecedented extent in recent weeks originate from the USA or Asia. Usage at the video conferencing provider Zoom, for example, exploded since the Corona/Covid-19, but many now consider it too insecure – they are banning Zoom from their companies. Many of these applications are particularly problematic because they also allow business-critical assets and processes to be operated in the clouds of the vendors possibly without privacy and security controls in place. In addition, the risk of lock-ins increases considerably, once all standard contract clauses have been accepted.
CIOs and digital executives therefore have to think carefully about the location of their computing infrastructure and data in this phase of rapid change. While doing everything necessary to ensure business continuity, it is worth remembering that there are solutions from providers who are committed to privacy and are located in jurisdictions (countries) with privacy friendly environments. Following trends can lead to unexpected risks – which can be mitigated easily by using business and privacy friendly infrastructure.
- Cloud services and cloud infrastructure provide security and continuity of operations during the coronavirus pandemic.
- Companies with an advanced cloud strategy can act more flexibly in times of crisis and have a clear competitive advantage.
- Making sure that questions about data sovereignty, security, privacy and lock-in have been thoroughly examined is essential to prevent new systemic risks.