When cloud meets COVID: How cloud computing is transforming across sectors – especially in public services

By now we all know that when tech companies say that data is in the cloud, it has nothing to do with those white fluffy things in the sky. In fact, “cloud computing” is nothing more than a fancy marketing term designed to give users a magical feeling instead of telling them straightforward that their data is stored on the server in a data center. The use of the term first appeared in 2006 in an industry conference introduced by one of the largest tech companies. Since then, it has come into broader use. The idea of network-based computing, however, can be traced back to the 1960s. [1]

For a long time, the risks associated with using clouds have limited the widespread adoption of this technology. However, the pandemic has proven to be a strong driver for cloud adoption, as companies, especially government agencies, are increasingly investing in cloud solutions. But the risks remain. Companies and government agencies need to be aware that they could lose control of their strategic data and prepare for such circumstances. In some countries cloud service providers are required by law to allow government agencies to access data in the cloud, even if the data is located outside the country. An example of this is the U.S CLOUD Act aimed at US companies, the largest cloud providers in the market. Despite concerns about the security of information in the cloud, the latter presents itself as “the” solution that will help us through the crisis.

Online education

The Financial Times reports that more than 1.5 billion students worldwide have been kept out of classrooms by COVID-induced school and college closures. Thanks to cloud-based applications and tools, many of them have been able to continue with online lessons. Despite challenges such as insufficient access to online resources and lack of focus compared to traditional classroom situations, educators believe many of the new cloud technologies will remain post-pandemic. Hybrid approaches that mix onsite and online learning will most likely continue in the coming semesters.

Working from anywhere

Many of us have worked from home before and realized that cloud applications and services are the backbone of remote work. Nat Friedman, the CEO of GitHub, one of the largest open-source communities for software developers, explained in an interview that in the past, many of the world’s most ambitious software developers had to go to the West Coast of the U.S. to realize their dreams, but can now do so simply by going to the cloud. As he noted, GitHub’s developer community in the U.S. has shrunk by 10% in the last year, while other locations like Nigeria, Bangladesh, Egypt and Colombia have become the strongest growth areas.

This furthermore provides a novel way for companies to solve their talent shortage. Many developed countries have started hiring people from abroad for remote work, especially from countries where wages are lower on average. But the pandemic also highlighted the risks of offshoring: When call centers or data labeling companies in India closed, without computers, Internet access and security clearance employees could not work simply from home there.

Accelerated public sector investment

In many government departments, security concerns have been the main reason for reluctance to adopt clouds. However, the response to the pandemic and the increasing demand from the private sector and citizens for digital access to public services have increased the pressure to modernize applications and infrastructures. As a result, more openness and renewed interest in cloud adoption can be observed.

Government agencies use the cloud for its cost savings, scalability and rapid deployment. Gartner predicts that by 2025, 95% of new government IT investments will be as a service solution. Although COVID-19 posed a major opportunity for cloud providers, only those that are prepared can handle such unexpected spikes in demand.

At JANZZ.technology, we provide integrated labor market solutions for Public Employment Services (PES) via cloud. Through our robust and rich architecture, we can successfully manage any sudden increased load and deliver an uninterrupted user experience. By leveraging embedded machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), PES can get powerful real-time analytics on labor markets with state-of-the-art solutions, even in countries with less infrastructure.

As a Swiss company, we have a different regulatory regime than most other major vendors in the market. At JANZZ.technology, our solutions are primarily offered as SaaS in a strictly regulated, ISO 27001, CCPA and GDPR compliant private cloud environment, usually also on the territory of the country where we operate. Pandemic or not, we have long recognized the urgency of digitization transformation within public services, especially PES. And we are prepared to support PES of any size on this digitization journey.

To learn more about our cloud-based SaaS solutions for Public Employment Services (PES), please visit our product site for PES or contact us at info@janzz.technology.

 

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[1] https://www.technologyreview.com/2011/10/31/257406/who-coined-cloud-computing/#:~:text=Part%20of%20the%20debate%20is,term%20to%20an%20industry%20conference