4 Ways to Use the Cloud During this Crisis Period

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@jamesTRGJames

I am the Chairman and CEO at Tenth Revolution Group. We specialize in cloud talent solutions.

Businesses around the world have been forced to scramble a response to the current worldwide pandemic. Boardrooms have become (virtual) war rooms as organizations hunker down and try and devise strategies that will enable them to prosper or, in many cases, simply survive. 
While discussions on the best way for this to happen are open to change as the Covid-19 situation continues to unravel, attention inevitably turns to the tools that will best facilitate business continuity. It’s safe to say that cloud infrastructure is enjoying its time in the sun. 
That’s not to say this is a flash in the pan – businesses around the world have long been moving their operations from on-premise to the more secure, flexible, agile alternative. The numbers involved in cloud computing have been healthily increasing for some time, with little sign of that easing.  
As data becomes most organizations’ most valuable commodity, security has become the number one priority. Not only that, but the current crisis is highlighting a number of other ways that the cloud can help businesses right now. 
Flexibility 
The fact is that many businesses now simply don’t look like they did three months ago. Whether that means a shift in the way they operate, or in how and what they actually deliver, very few companies have come out of this situation unchanged. Bars and restaurants are trying to pivot towards a retail model, manufacturers have changed the physical products they make. In some cases, business is slow, and for others it’s a real boom time. 
Those changes aren’t necessarily permanent either. Demand for certain products can fluctuate at short notice, lockdown restrictions ease, and suddenly you need to flex your digital muscles again. The cloud is perfect for this, as you can scale up and down, especially at this period in time where vendors are more relaxed about the usual contractual obligations. 
Rather than investing in physical hardware that may go unused, you’re simply able to pay for what you need, and reduce or increase it in line with the demand from your customers. At a time where cash is king, the cloud allows you to reduce unnecessary spending. While many people can end up overspending on their solution, with a proper cost optimization plan in place, you can make significant savings. 
This can include shutting down entire digital environments when they’re not in use, say, outside of office hours or at weekends. The possibilities for saving with the cloud are almost infinite in comparison to traditional physical hardware. 
Growing your business 
While this is undoubtedly a period of crisis for many organizations, things will improve, though nobody knows how quick economic recovery will be. Recessions are forecast but with that slump also comes the opportunity for growth afterwards. Having a digital infrastructure that allows you to grow at speed will be essential to make sure you’re best placed to keep up. 
The cloud allows greater scope for innovation, due to that previously-mentioned scalability. You don’t have to physically build anything: if you need to grow, your tech teams can experiment and be bold, without the fear of legacy issues or costs. Doesn’t work? Just hit the delete button and move on. 
If you foresee potential for growth in your business, ensure that your cloud setup has scope for this. Serverless computing solutions such as AWS Lambda will give you the best value for money while handling unpredictable loads and completely unburdening you of the need to deal with infrastructure. 
Embrace the community 
The cloud benefits from one of the most fanatical communities anywhere in tech. Each platform is packed full of evangelists who are happy to share best practices and help those using their respective product. 
That has resulted in an unlimited number of resources to help you ensure you’re getting the most from your cloud set up. Allow your tech teams the time and space to communicate with their peers and spend time discussing and digesting the different ways to innovate on the platform. 
For example, we’ve been fortunate enough to be able to reach out to a number of AWS experts to help us put together a white paper, which is aimed at helping businesses use the cloud to propel them through this critical period. When you’re using platforms that have so many thought leaders willing to share hints and advice, why wouldn’t you take advantage of that? flexible
Security 
Finally, it’s worth reiterating just how important locking down your data is. While I’ve touched on cloud vendors being more flexible and lenient in this time where businesses are vulnerable, it’s safe to say that cybercriminals are not so understanding. This is a time where it’s natural to take your eye off the ball due to other distractions, but with platforms such as AWS it’s easy to make sure you’re keeping on top to make sure everything is watertight. While this may be a moment in time where brave decisions and calculated risks will help you survive, security isn’t one of those areas you should be gambling with. Mistakes here will cost you. 
Use virtual desktops or VPNs to log into your cloud platform, to make sure data stays in the cloud, rather than on a device. With so much of the world’s workforce being based remotely, this is easy to achieve and ensures that regardless of someone’s home internet, you have peace of mind that your infrastructure is secure. 
Take advantage of the advice available from cloud experts around the world and ensure everything is locked down and you’re doing everything in your power to keep anyone who needs to be out, out.
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@jamesTRGJames

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I am the Chairman and CEO at Tenth Revolution Group. We specialize in cloud talent solutions.

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