How the Cloud Is Enabling Remote Work
The last few weeks have been a crash course in remote work for those of us fortunate enough to be able to do so. Though it may feel like an annoyance at times, it’s a small miracle that we are able to transition to working from home almost seamlessly. In another time, this transitory period would have taken weeks and involved all sorts of costly hardware. Now, with little more than a laptop and an Internet connection, most workers can pick up right where they left off at their offices just a few days before.
This simplicity is all thanks to the decentralization of software brought on by the cloud. Services as varied as teleconferencing, file storage, and document collaboration are all enabled by cloud technologies and give workers the freedom to work from home at the drop of a hat.
The go-anywhere, do-everything cloud
An often overlooked feature of the cloud is that it makes processes and data available anywhere. Files kept in the cloud can be accessed from any Internet-connected device. Your slide-deck isn’t stuck on your office desktop or sitting on the thumb drive kicking around your backpack, but right where you left it in the cloud. The same instant availability that makes the cloud a great destination for archive and disaster recovery also has made the transition to remote work nearly seamless.
The cloud also decentralizes computing power. Your work computer doesn’t need to be a processing powerhouse anymore since many of the most computationally difficult processes take place in the cloud. This cuts down on the need for additional hardware and software, making work possible from virtually any computer in Wi-Fi range.
Built for scale
The scale of our remote work moment is also a mark in the cloud’s favor. A locally hosted private cloud for storage and compute would be pushed to its limits if everyone in a large enterprise was forced to work from home en masse. A public cloud, however, is designed to handle high traffic regularly. In an interview with Computer Weekly, Wasabi CEO David Friend spoke about the cloud’s role in easing the transition to remote work. “An infrastructure based on a public cloud should be able to cope with employees working from home because there really is little difference in the workload, whether they are at home or at the office,” he said. A private cloud simply doesn’t have the bandwidth to support large workloads and would cause serious disruption to business. The public cloud services we all enjoy can support massive workloads from around the world with no noticeable change in service.
The cloud has allowed scores of workers to turn their homes into home offices with practically no major breaks in productivity. Because of cloud technology, remote work can be business as usual. In the future, companies must take our current situation into consideration when building out IT infrastructure. Will they allow their workforce to freely access the cloud from anywhere they choose, or will they tether themselves to their offices and risk potential downtime should they need to go remote again?