Why Cloud Technology Will Be Non-Negotiable in a Post-Pandemic World
Est. Read Time: 3 min.
At the start of the year, few people imagined they’d soon be working from home for the foreseeable future. Few leaders did, either. As such, when businesses around the world were faced with the prospect of transitioning to a remote work model in a matter of days, not months, some found themselves scrambling to ensure that important documents, information, and tools kept in filing cabinets and on on-premise computers wouldn’t be out of reach.
Others managed a more seamless transition. They’d already transitioned to the cloud.
Cloud-based solutions were already on the rise before the COVID-19 crisis, but 40% of companies report that the pandemic has accelerated their move to the cloud. With many questioning whether they’ll return to the physical office at all, this move is certainly not premature. Even for those who do plan to manage an on-site or hybrid workforce moving forward, this year has provided a wake-up call. To strengthen their organization’s resilience and agility, a proactive approach is needed—and cloud technology will play a major role in shaping that strategy.
Here’s why cloud-based solutions are no longer optional—and why this is a good thing.
Cloud technology: A primer
First things first, a quick definition. Cloud technology is an umbrella term for any computing service—from software to storage—that is delivered over the internet.
This means that so long as a device is connected to the internet (and has the proper permissions), it can access any cloud-based data and programs that your company uses. The user doesn’t have to be in the office or using a particular device to access the resources they need to get their work done, a condition that proved vital at the outset of the pandemic.
Cloud vs SaaS vs on-premise: What’s the difference?
Since the terms are often used interchangeably, there’s often some confusion about the difference between cloud technology and software as a service (SaaS). While SaaS solutions are hosted in the cloud, not all hosted solutions are SaaS solutions.
The key difference is that, unlike hosted and on-premise solutions, SaaS vendors deploy the same version of the software to all customers, allowing them to focus on continually improving and maintaining that software and rolling out new features—at no extra cost to the customer. Unlike many of their rivals, SaaS vendors can also provide rapid implementation, world-class security, convenient pay-as-you-go pricing models, and service-level guarantees around response times, uptime, backup, and disaster recovery—all of which are becoming increasingly essential to survival in the modern business landscape.
SaaS is a relatively new development, which means that many companies are still relying on legacy technology that is hosted on-premise or via an application service provider (ASP). These models simply don’t allow for the same level of flexibility and agility that SaaS can provide, leaving companies hindered by their technology during times of crisis, rather than helped.
How cloud technology will help companies rise above current and future challenges
The COVID-19 pandemic dealt a serious blow to countless companies. But while no one could have predicted that an event of this magnitude was coming, it has made businesses more aware that they need to be prepared for all manner of changes and challenges on the horizon.
Cloud-based SaaS solutions can help. Here are just a few of the potential hurdles that companies using cloud-based tools are better equipped to handle:
1. Employees suddenly need to work from somewhere other than the office. Whether they’re working from home or the airport on their way to a business meeting, employees can continue to securely access their organization’s applications and information, even on a mobile device or tablet.
2. Budgets shrink even as dependence on technology increases. The ongoing pandemic has forced many companies to tighten their purse strings—but to keep the business moving, they still need reliable tech. Luckily, investments in SaaS tools are significantly more cost-effective than traditional options, because the provider takes on the cost of hosting, maintaining, and upgrading the software.
3. A bad apple tries to gain access, and employees are unequipped to handle it. SaaS providers help protect businesses from cyber threats, reducing the need for them to have security-savvy professionals on staff. SaaS solutions typically come with built-in security systems and next-generation firewalls that protect against a variety of security risks, including malware, DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks, and data breaches.
In an uncertain world, cloud-based tools provide companies with a level of continuity they can’t find elsewhere. To learn how HR case management technology in particular can make HR more resilient, check out the whitepaper: Understanding HR Case Management.
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About Laura Zifchak (Poggi)
Laura leads the marketing team for the PeopleDoc by Ultimate Software products in North America. She joined PeopleDoc in January 2015 to help HR teams learn about HR Service Delivery technology, understand how it benefits their existing business strategies, and become expert users of our platform as customers.
Laura has experience with bringing technical software solutions to market with prior leadership positions at both IBM and RTTS. She has an MBA from CUNY Baruch Zicklin School of Business, and a BS degree in Marketing from Siena College.
With years of practice managing teams through rapid growth and constant change, Laura is passionate about employee and manager experience, and using technology to help scale and improve operations.