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While many in the US are hunkered down in self-quarantine, a new reality is being formed.  It is a reality that many of us Cloud practitioners saw coming a few years ago.  The reality is that so many people in the world can work remotely without physical human contact.  For professionals that are used to working from home, it is normal to work with people in our own state while working with people across the ocean at the same time without any plane tickets or time drains. Many people that are not in the Technology industry don’t realize yet that while they are going to Amazon to place orders for toilet paper and other essentials, their company’s IT  infrastructure is humming away in cloud-based infrastructure at Amazon Web Services (AWS) Microsoft Azure and Office 365, or Google.

My first introduction to the Cloud was, as with many professionals, Office 365.  I was working with a clothing manufacturer in New York City in the weeks leading up to Hurricane Sandy.  We enabled their mailboxes in O365 the night before the hurricane hit and my customer was one of the very few organizations in New York City that had email access during the power outage that followed.  Everyone thought I was the bees’ knees but the real hero was Office 365.

A key priority for companies during the pandemic today is keeping their infrastructure operating so that staff that is used to working in an office can continue to do their job remotely.  With a traditional infrastructure during a worldwide health crisis, it may be difficult to get the necessary people on-site to help resolve technical issues.  Keeping on-premise infrastructure powered is also frequently a concern during extreme weather events, and future unknown crises that may come our way (this virus crisis wasn’t exactly anticipated). The robust, fault-tolerant power and physical security of the infrastructure in Cloud is hard to match on-premise for most small, medium or even large companies.

Another issue is remote access.  Legacy on-premise environments were typically designed to handle only a small percentage of the user base remotely.  When 100{3cb753bfcf007b44c6369971329f9cf2d1aaf76d9e74a5764deb06c47b054194} of the employees are suddenly trying to work remotely, the existing infrastructure can’t handle the load.  Licenses and hardware were likely purchased with the small remote population in mind so remote access may need to be rationed.

Enter The Cloud – the mature IT infrastructure model that is now proving itself once again. Far more companies have adopted the Cloud IT model today than in 2013 and their businesses are now reaping the rewards.  Large Cloud providers like AWS and Azure are able to scale up their customers’ infrastructures automatically to handle the increased load.  In many cases, users are able to work from home exactly the same way they had been working in the office.  In fact, many of these employees were already working remotely in The Cloud with some degree of regularity.

As businesses the world over are pivoting quickly to address the changing priorities, The Cloud offers feasible and valuable options to scale remote-working capabilities, ramp-up or ramp-down capacity without expensive capital expenditure lock-ins, and to service employees and clients in a resilient way. The Cloud is once again proving itself as the future of IT infrastructure and it may literally save the world by keeping businesses online, productive, and even thriving.

About the author:

Steve Selick is a Senior Architect with CloudView Partners. Steve brings over 25 years of experience with leading consulting and systems-integration companies (Top 5 Microsoft Gold Partner) designing, implementing, and supporting large, complex migrations to the public Cloud (Azure, O365, IBM Cloud) as well as within private infrastructure. Steve Selick has deep expert-level knowledge of Cloud architecture, Azure, Office 365 solutions, Microsoft solution stack, and Enterprise architectures.

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