Now, as coronavirus continues on its warpath, people in the white-collared sector are engaging with their workspace family to get the jobs done by the help of a new savior: Cloud. This unsung hero has been a virtue in terms of reliability, scale to handle and store massive database, security, and flexibility. With office closures, social distancing, stay at home orders in force, virtual connectivity is our best hope. Cloud computing has enabled entertainment, shopping, family and friends interactions, online education, work, and art collaborations, meetings and conferences, etc. at the comfort of our home. So it is safe to say that cloud has risen to form an essential backbone in this time of crisis.
In Italy, one of the worst-hit countries and the new epicenter for COVID-19, cloud services giant Microsoft has issued a statement claiming that it has seen a 775% increase in the use of its cloud services in areas from the team calling and meeting monthly users over one month. Online streaming platform Netflix too witnessed a spike of 66% in Italy. And these are likely to expand under enforced geo-fenced conditions. Although on the less bright side, the cloud network frame also costs a hefty amount despite being the most affordable data reserve. But it should not be an issue given the current scenario when many companies are laying off people an extension on payments which could ease some of the financial pressures. If some of the services or the administration heads agree to cut the prices for start-ups or small scale firms, postpone their cloud infrastructure payments, it can further allow smooth functioning of the work environments. Unfortunately, the strain of the increased workload on cloud and extra demands for space is preventing balanced conditioning to rescue them.
This brings another drawback to light: capability. Given the recent soar, more connections mean more data center usage. And cloud infrastructure may not be able to cope up with this demand unless a firm in partnership with private clouds creates a hybrid system to lighten the load and dependency. Customers of Microsoft corp.’s Azure have encountered hitting capacity constraints while trying to create SQL Server databases. This was faced not only in the free trial but also in the paid version of the SQL.
Data rationing is another concern. Cloud is thriving well under the stressed situation, yet there can be a need to tighten the cap by introducing measures to contain the overwhelming demand. And these issues are the tip of an iceberg. Privacy and cyber-attacks are a whole common chapter. The threat of malware, spams, virus, and phishing may not be as deadly as SARS-CoV2 but enough to inflict harm. The stress and chaos can force people to show risky behavior that can cost them their personal, research or organizational data. These include clicking on the wrong link or expanding surfing habits, giving sensitive information like passwords to illicit pages, etc.
The stakes are high. The world is no stranger to disruptions. While engaging with cloud, COVID-19 can look like a minor hurdle at virtual space, it is imperative to bring a technological storm to shape the way we interact and enjoy from the digital tools. Meanwhile, organizations should venture into alternative ways to manage the work traffic and resources while connecting and optimizing infrastructure to meet high user expectations for performance. In addition to that, a regulating body must be announced by the regional government that will be on the look for cyber-crimes and their prevention in these crucial times.