In 2015, Microsoft founder Bill Gates warned that humanity was not ready for a pandemic similar to the Spanish flu of the early 20th century. According to the visionary philanthropist, preventive measures to overcome such a pandemic were worth thinking about. In 2020, Gates’ predictions came true. When coronavirus went beyond the epicenter in China, quarantine forced the management of millions of companies worldwide to decide on the issue of employees’ remote work.
Doctors and scientists from several countries, including the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, and France, have said that the likelihood of the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is increasing every day, which means that history will repeat itself. Other arguments also can support refusing to work in the office for all full-time employees. As a manager, if you are still unsure about moving your employees to remote work, this story might have you reconsider.
The History of a normal, yet very lucky, company
We have provided cloud hosting services and support to a small company registered as a sole proprietorship for several years. Its employees approximately ten people, with all the accounting done by outsourced contractors. There were no people familiar with system administration among the company’s employees. We were tasked with ensuring that the external accountants could securely gain
the access needed to the company’s systems and databases, while also securing their communications, and reducing their associated costs.
During the migration to the cloud, the organization did not stop its operation for a single day, and the transfer of employees to remote communication was seamless.
Several months before the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 virus as a pandemic, the company faced financial difficulties. Management has repeatedly asked us to delay the payment. To stay afloat and save money, they abandoned their typical office in favor of completely virtual office. We analyzed their IT costs and, as a result of several modifications, reduced their monthly bill by 23 thousand rubles.
Switching to remote saved their employees time on their daily commutes to the office, and saved the management money on their expensive business rental space.
It felt as if our client had predicted this outcome – a few months later, the Russian president declared a pandemic, imposing health and safety protocols. This announcement was a signal and major motivation for people to switch to online life quickly.
At the beginning of the summer, we received a thank-you letter from the same company, which went online even before the onset of quarantine because of financial problems. It helped management pay off debts and pay the services of the virtual office for the year ahead. The management no longer worries about preparing for the second wave of the crisis. It has realized all the advantages of a remote office and has managed to organize work more efficiently than before. Moreover, the company has a “work-at-home code of conduct” for their employees – a set of critical rules for working remotely.
Have You Switched to Cloud storage yet? You Must as Soon as Possible!
As experience shows, after a business migrates to the cloud, almost no one returns to the office chair or headquarters overlooking the city traffic. But when faced with cloud technology for the first time, managers worry that it will be challenging to coordinate the migration, and data security will be at risk. These worries are in vain.
The Ease of Migration
The company’s entire infrastructure transfers gradually and painlessly. The organization of employees’ remote work occurs so that possible outages fall after hours and do not affect the company’s employees or customers.
The average time to migrate to the cloud is about one working week, but it depends on the enterprise’s size and the provider’s tasks. During the data transfer to the cloud servers, neither customers nor employees face network or hardware issues.
Safety and Security
Only government agency representatives can obtain access to the cloud servers. However, such an agency must follow specific rules and intricate compliance conditions of the entrance. They also need to file an official request at the international level, and if required, at the country’s Supreme Court, where the data center or company headquarters are established. Some providers encrypt information on drives, and access keys are only available to the customer. In real life, gaining access to sensitive information of a Cyber or Cloud company is almost impossible. Some providers encrypt the data into so many layers on external drives and then grant the client access codes that no one will ever be able to decrypt the file and transcribe contents without the access codes.
There are also more non-standard options. For example, a provider can place your sensitive data in one of the on-premises servers within the massive data center and transfer all the other noncrucial information to the Cloud servers.