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Nearly a quarter of the U.S. workforce is already working from home at least part time, according to 2018 figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In recent weeks, though, many employees who worked on-site only are now remote for perhaps the first time ever.
In a March 30, 2020 Gartner survey of CFOs, 74% of respondents said that they plan to move at least 5% of their on-site workforce to permanently remote positions after the pandemic. Additionally, nearly half (48%) of CFOs said that they will make at least 10% of their on-site employees remote.
Technology has made this kind of connectivity possible. Video conferencing platforms, messaging apps, virtual private networks (VPN), and cloud storage have made it easier for employees to collaborate without working in a central location. Multi-national organizations spread across time zones have already been exposed to many of these advances, and smaller businesses are now seeing the benefits of this technology firsthand.
Cloud computing can make that shift easier for current and future remote workers. In a semi-annual mid-March survey of CIOs from brokerage firm Instinet, 68% of respondents said that cloud services would become more of a priority by 2021. CIOs also predict a 24% drop in on-prem workloads, to just 35%, by 2021.
“The data suggests a pivot to cloud, and perhaps, more public cloud,” Instinet said. That shift reflects general trends toward greater cloud reliance across industries. With more employees working remotely, said Instinet, the situation “could accelerate cloud migration.” The firm expects that companies exposed to public cloud “will emerge stronger” following current orders to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Preferred public cloud providers, according to the survey, include Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS); other platforms from Google, Oracle, and IBM ranked lower in terms of adoption. Organizations may choose to migrate fully to the cloud in either a single platform or a multi-cloud strategy or implement a hybrid cloud infrastructure with a mix of cloud and on-prem servers. The Instinet report warned that companies exposed solely to private cloud or on-premise assets could lag in terms of advancement when compared to their peers using public cloud services.
Experts who spoke to the Wall Street Journal agreed that the abrupt shift toward remote work will push companies toward greater cloud adoption, especially among those in the cyber security industry. According to the article, “The pivot to working from home highlights the benefits of cloud-based services that can quickly scale up defenses around decentralized employees.”
How are businesses already seeing the benefits of cloud computing? Here are five reasons why cloud technology is vital for all businesses—especially those with remote workers.
Ordinarily, an organization operating its own data center will need to take assets offline for maintenance. Cloud services, on the other hand, give remote employees 24/7 access to information they need to do their jobs. The cloud also makes it easier to control access to specific cloud resources. Administrators can set secure identity and access policies to ensure that employees have the correct permissions for what they can and cannot access. These settings can be configured remotely, ensuring that new or current remote workers can access what they need while away from the office.
Scalability in the cloud refers to vertical and horizontal scaling:
Cloud computing is ideal for administrative teams that cannot access a physical location, such as a server room, or that are spread out across locations. A shift to remote work means an influx of employees who need access to cloud resources. The cloud enables administrators to quickly scale to accommodate the increase in remote workers. The elasticity of the cloud can also help organizations scale their computing power up or down at any time—a more cost-effective solution for a growing business when compared to adding servers in a data center.
On-premise servers can become costly for businesses to purchase and maintain. As more companies move away from centralized data storage, they need to be conscious of costs associated with cloud computing. Administrators can follow several best practices to optimize their organization’s cloud spending:
One of the main benefits of the cloud is that it is designed with cybersecurity in mind. Cloud services operate on a shared responsibility model, meaning that they guarantee the overall safety of the cloud while letting the user enact various safety measures to protect that account’s data. Public cloud platforms, such as AWS and Azure, give users the ability to designate specific security measures, such as setting up user permissions, encrypting data, and enforcing other measures to prevent security threats. Organizations with additional security requirements, such as government agencies, will see added security and compliance benefits in secret and top secret regions.
Organizations in highly regulated industries, such as healthcare, telecommunications, finance, education, and government, need to ensure that they have taken the appropriate measures to secure their data. Cloud services often include configurations for compliance, making it easier for organizations in regulated industries to manage sensitive information. This is especially important when managing employees across locations to ensure that sensitive data is not compromised.
A cloud management platform can help organizations optimize their public cloud usage, find cost savings, automate manual processes, and enhance their security and compliance measures. While native tools provide a helpful foundation for any cloud practice, the depth and breadth of a cloud management platform’s capabilities far surpasses any out-of-the-box functionality.
CloudCheckr CMx, CloudCheckr’s next-generation cloud management platform, delivers total visibility into infrastructures and organizational management—by individuals, teams, and roles. The CloudCheckr CMx family helps organizations achieve significant cost savings while ensuring the highest level of public cloud security and compliance for large enterprises, managed service providers, government agencies, and other regulated industries.
With CloudCheckr CMx, cloud users can see all the benefits of the cloud and enhanced services that make cloud computing more streamlined:
The largest enterprises, service providers, resellers, and government agencies trust CloudCheckr to optimize their cloud services. Ready to see the new CloudCheckr CMx in action? Request a live 30-minute demo or sign up for a free trial today.