RESTRICTIONS on public gatherings and stay-at-home regulations meant a huge shift towards people working from home. For those companies that had already been taking steps towards cloud-based platforms, it would have been a seamless switch with persons being able to work from a hotel room in Japan, if necessary.
Undoubtedly, one of the biggest benefits for businesses on a Cloud platform before Covid-19 was the ability to have employees work from home and securely connect to the company’s host systems. With this, employees were able to work securely and employers could readily generate detailed reports measuring the productivity of every member of their remote workforce as well as tracking their activities, calls and access to company data.
Another notable advantage is how quick, easy and affordable it is to adjust capacity and tailor services to meet fluctuating business needs. This enables businesses to not only ensure optimal performance of their systems but to reduce and better manage business impact accordingly.
Change in attitude
One positive of this pandemic is the revelation experienced by businesses that were previously closed to the idea of employees working from home. There has been a drastic and welcome turnaround in people’s perception, understanding and acceptance of remote working and the tools that companies use for remote working.
Businesses now realise that it works and it is secure. One could even argue that Cloud is far more secure than on-premise equipment and data.
They have also realised that they don’t need to have employees spend three, sometimes four hours a day in traffic. Won’t it be wonderful if you could say to an employee: “I will give you the right tools and spare you having to endure 1,000 hours a year in traffic”? Those tools can be as simple as a laptop, headphones and a camera, thus making it accessible and viable for any size of business
How it works
The simplest explanation is that your IT solutions are stored and delivered via a federation of servers that are accessed through the Internet. One member company has been in the forefront of enabling remote working through investment in building a world-class data centre.
As Ian Galt, General Manager Enterprise Services at Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (TSTT), noted: “As a result of the pandemic, many businesses experienced the benefits of utilising two of our most prized assets; our world class TIA 942-B Rated 3 certified Data Centre facility and the Caribbean’s only VMware verified cloud..
“A major part of our ongoing recertification requires that systems are routinely upgraded and tested by ethical hacking companies to make certain that they are highly secure.”
Looking to the future
Covid-19 has forced people to adopt and embrace digitisation and has changed the way they will do business forever. Furthermore, companies have realised the costs benefits and savings associated with moving to the Cloud.
As businesses reopen fully, save for a few, no one will come out of this financially better off. And there is no guarantee those that do reopen will succeed. Businesses that were not interested in saving what may have been considered “a few dollars” some months ago are interested now, and that will be a compelling reason for them to continue or start using Cloud services.
A number of business leaders have been pleasantly surprised that a remote workforce has been productive. Through their experience since mid-March, they will have the confidence to be a little less conservative and more trusting of their staff, as well as the technology.
From a public health standpoint, the Business sector and Government will also have to take a serious look at how they operate. Online services will become critical success factors. and the ability for businesses to connect, transact and engage digitally with their clients will ultimately drive how successful adopters become.
If local businesses go brave in a post-pandemic world, chances are that they will be more competitive, cost effective and resilient. The wider society will see significant benefits in the form of reduced traffic congestion, lower air pollution, higher productivity, happier and healthier employees, better family life and an overall better quality of life!
The Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce thanks Chamber Member company Telecommunications Services of Trinidad and Tobago (corporate partner for Champions of Business – Business Technology category) for contributing this article.
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