How Cloud Benefits Business Continuity and Collaboration: Early Lessons from COVID-19

Vertex Inc.

Nobody could have seen this coming.

While that might not be strictly accurate – proto-pandemic outbreaks have been with us for many years now – it’s certainly the case that relatively few businesses were well-prepared for COVID-19. As companies transition into a new business environment in the wake of the ongoing crisis, they’re wisely weighing lessons to apply to their business continuity and disaster recovery strategies to enhance organizational resilience.

For many organizations, this means looking carefully at the advantages of the public cloud as a tool for risk mitigation and crisis management. Although a migration to the cloud has been underway for at least a decade, the distribution of these activities has been uneven.

When the pandemic struck, companies that had already embraced cloud enterprise solutions enjoyed some advantages over those still operating mostly in traditional data centers. These benefits include:

  • More reliable back-up and restoration of data: When you store your data in the cloud, there's more peace of mind knowing that it’s backed up and protected in a secure and safe location. You can access it quickly in an emergency, enabling you to conduct business as usual and minimizing any downtime or loss of productivity.
  • Enhanced team collaboration: The cloud can support much of the flexibility of work practices and collaboration efficiency that you might otherwise lose during scenarios like the current crisis. Employees can access data from home or even – for those still working on-site – during the commute to and from work (so long as they have connectivity). Cloud technologies also equip teams with the ability to easily communicate and share work without the need for in-person interactions. If you’re working on a project that’s distributed across different locations, no problem – you can give employees, contractors and third parties access to the same files.
  • Scalability without forewarning: Not every business saw a drop in demand during the outbreak – some saw the opposite. I’ve recently spoken to business leaders who said they had just experienced the equivalent of three Black Fridays in one week. Most businesses spend half the year gearing up to manage the demands of the day that traditionally kicks off the holiday-shopping season. If you’re trying to handle that kind of demand surge on legacy hosting or on bare metal, you’re facing some real challenges. Cloud gives you the ability to procure infrastructure on the fly.

Businesses using connected systems in the cloud provide users simultaneous access to consistent data. Cloud technology gives online retailers and web streaming services, just to name a few, the ability to scale on demand, creating happy, satisfied customers. For more information on this topic, see this Retail TouchPoints webcast, Mitigating Future Risk: Why It's Time To Do Businesss In The Cloud.

Guest Author

Peter Sheldon

Director of Commerce Strategy at Adobe

See All Resources by Peter

A well-known industry expert in e-commerce and omnichannel technology, Peter Sheldon leads commerce strategy for Adobe. Peter was previously Vice President and Principal Analyst at Forrester Research, responsible for the global research on digital commerce technologies, helping to challenge the thinking and lead change for e-commerce executives undertaking major digital transformation and commerce technology programs.

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