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From out of the shadows: Cloud-based technology in the wake of COVID-19

COVID changed a lot of our habits because it had to. Access to office-based servers and hardware was obviously limited during the pandemic, while employees everywhere needed some way of continuing their work.

The answer to this problem came in technology that was already a decade old. Over the course of 2020, Google Drive usage shot up by 60% and CCE (Cloud Computing Environments) by 90%. Unsurprisingly, Zoom and Microsoft Teams remained 21 times higher than pre-COVID.

But for all the changes we underwent, how many are persisting as things ‘get back to normal’?

A positive Pandora’s Box

The final result is still uncertain, as lingering COVID regulations worldwide have resulted in many workplaces opting for a hybrid return. But, of those surveyed, 82% said they preferred working from home, with some even willing to take pay cuts for the privilege. As Ladders CEO Marc Cenedella suggested in an interview with Forbes magazine, the workforce is set to undergo its biggest change since World War Two, and the impact can’t be underestimated. 

“Hiring practices typically move at a glacial pace, but the pandemic turned up the heat so we’re seeing a rapid flood of change in this space. It’s really rather amazing.”

This change has meant many companies reluctant to switch from server-based applications are now being pushed into web-based environments. With the pandemic proving that many industries can work remotely, hiring practices are opening up to a more international market. The major development hasn’t been the technology itself, but in the way companies are beginning to view the use of this technology in the workplace.

Another huge reservation has historically been to do with the storage and security of servers themselves. Pre-Covid, it was rare for companies to store information on web servers, preferring individually tailored apps. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, companies are finding a greater level of collaboration with web-based applications, which allow users to work on projects simultaneously from easily sharable folders. 

Many industries also prefer to deal with their clients this way, finding web applications much more convenient for file sharing. It appears that COVID has simply been the catalyst in this change, highlighting several problems with traditional office-based servers. With limited storage space and collaborative abilities, office servers have always relied heavily on hardware in an increasingly app-based world. 

So the need for change was apparent — it seems to have taken a radical shift in personal freedoms, though, for this change to make itself heard in the traditional working space.

Overcoming security concerns

One deterrent against making web servers a permanent solution has been the rapidly increasing risk of data breaching. However, a lot has to do with the security of the server — and its location. 

All web-based file-sharing applications must have a physical component, which means relying on a physically located server. Countries deploy different rules and regulations regarding information security, allowing specific authorities to access servers and monitor information. Hence, a country's political climate can have much to do with the amount of protection a web application receives. 

Luckily for us, New Zealand and Australia are generally less corrupt, so the security of the servers used and the ability to access that information from outside sources is more limited. The Sydney AWS (Amazon Web Server) is, for that reason, considered a popular choice for many companies.

Further benefits

The benefits of a web server for tech companies have been massive. Not only does it allow their clients to more easily share files and collect data, but it also allows the creation of flexible, web-based templates that can be easily adapted to suit different needs. 

Its application, and ease of adoption, have meant huge success for platforms such as Canva, business analytic dashboards, workflow management apps and CRM managers. Whereas communication and entertainment were once the primary roles of web applications, with Gmail and Netflix prime examples, they’re now expected to perform the creation, management and data analysis roles of traditional servers. All while minimising the actual amount of manual work needed in reentering information gathered ‘off-grid’. 

Creating those flexible templates and easily shareable resources is what we do at datanest. The difference is that we cover all areas, from data collection and sharing to map, report and graphic creation — which means you can complete your entire project using just one application. Datanest is even designed so that you can change what your want to report on, making it one of the most adaptable professional apps on the market.

If you’d like to know more, view our website or try it yourself.

Sources cited: 

  • Alashhab, Ziyad R., Anbar, Mohammed, Mahinderjit, Manmeet Singh, Yu-Beng, Leau, Ali Al-Sai, Zaher &  Alhayja’a, Sami Abu. “Impact of coronavirus pandemic crisis on technologies and cloud computing applications” in Journal of Electronic Science and Technology, Vol. 19, Iss. 1. Date Published: March, 2021. Site Link: https://bit.ly/3mS4IAY
  • Bryan, Robinson. “Remote Work Is Here To Stay And Will Increase Into 2023, Experts Say” on Forbes. 1st February, 2022. Site Link: https://bit.ly/3OzCLtx
  • Griffin, Peter. “Post Covid, more companies will ditch their servers” on umbrellar connect. Date Published: 23rd June. Site Link: https://bit.ly/3Hq9vmz
  • Kurian, Thomas. “How Google Cloud is helping during COVID-19” on Inside Google Cloud. Date Published: 1st April, 2020. Site Link: https://bit.ly/3aSwH0o
  • Pisarek, David. “Importance of my web server location” on Wow Digital. Date Published: 5th February, 2019. Site Link: https://bit.ly/3zJUJFh
  • “Remote working new normal; 82% employees prefer working from home: Study” on The Economic Times. Date Published: 29th January, 2022. Site Link: https://bit.ly/3NYmAFU
  • Wynn, Kirsty, Trigger, Sophie & Howie,  Cherie. “Back to the office: The Great Hybrid Return to Work” on NZ Herald. Date Published: 16thApril, 2022. Site Link: https://bit.ly/3mWOKoQ