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Using Cloud Computing for Social Good Amid COVID-19

The coronavirus outbreak has sent the world into a frenzy. Medical professionals and government officials work tirelessly to contain the disease and businesses struggle to operate while keeping employees safe. But thanks to technology, the situation isn't as bad as it could be.

Without cloud computing, many parts of life would stop in the wake of the disease. But with the flexibility the cloud offers, many people's lives don't have to come to a standstill. They just have to adapt. Cloud computing may not cure COVID-19, but it's helping people live through it. 

Social Distancing

Healthcare experts have urged people to practice "social distancing" to slow the spread of the virus. In response, many companies have switched to a work from home model, allowing employees to work without endangering themselves. This surge in remote working has lead to a similar increase in cloud reliance.

As more people work from home, more companies rely on cloud-based collaboration services. Microsoft saw a 40% increase in its collaborative software users in just one week. Without services like Zoom, Slack and Google's G Suite, it would be near impossible for coworkers to work and communicate over long distances.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) and other cloud companies have taken steps to accommodate increasing demand during this time. With their continued support of collaborative software, people can keep on working in the middle of the crisis.

Big Data Solutions

Cloud computing is also helping people amid the outbreak by enabling big data. Through rapid data analytics, healthcare organizations can track the spread of COVID-19 and work accordingly to slow it. Big data company BlueDot even predicted the initial outbreak three weeks before China enacted travel restrictions.

Some hospitals rely on these big data forecasts to prepare for incoming patients. By looking at infection rate predictions, medical institutions can ensure they have enough staff and supplies to treat people. Without this foreknowledge, hospitals could be underprepared, and patients may not get the help they need.

Big data solutions like this require massive amounts of storage and interoperability. Cloud computing allows for both. With the flexibility and vast space offered by cloud solutions, businesses can run crucial data analytics at minimal cost and with little infrastructure.

Storage and Sharing in Healthcare and Research

The improved collaboration offered by cloud services doesn't just help businesses. As hospitals and research centers learn more about the disease, they need the cloud to store and share their findings. Some cloud companies have gone a step further in aiding the coronavirus response.

As healthcare professionals turn to more precise medical equipment to test and treat patients, AWS is subsidizing these advanced labs. The company has pledged $20 million in cloud credits to COVID-19 researchers. Through free access to cloud-based research technology, scientists can run more processes at a higher speed.

Without the cloud, research into COVID-19 would be slower, and medical staff couldn't share records as easily. Cloud computing offers these essential workers the tools they need for effective outbreak response.

Cloud Computing in the Crisis

The coronavirus crisis has thrown daily life out of order. But with the possibilities opened up by cloud computing, it hasn't stopped essential processes completely. Without the cloud and its peripheral technologies, the global response to COVID-19 could have been substantially worse.

There is still a considerable amount of uncertainty hovering around the coronavirus outbreak and its eventual outcome. But from remote work to big data-enabled research, cloud computing is sustaining operations helping in the fight against the disease. With increased cloud adoption, the world can survive the outbreak and try to contain it.


About the Author

Kayla Matthews 

Kayla Matthews is a tech-loving blogger who writes and edits Follow her on Twitter @productibytes to read all of her latest posts! 
Published Tuesday, March 31, 2020 8:43 AM by David Marshall
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