As the global Covid-19 crisis began to unfold in 2020, the cloud had to be ready and capable of scaling dramatically and reliably to meet massive, unplanned-for demand, as huge portions of everyday life were dumped onto cloud infrastructure overnight.

By delivering on its promise of ubiquitous computing at scale since then, the cloud has delivered vital connectivity for businesses and populations. it has provided the support needed to ensure workers can access critical business information, while enabling secure real-time collaboration between co-workers – not to mention entertainment services for the masses stuck at home.

After the rapid-response phase of the pandemic gave way to a sense of acceptance of the ‘new normal,’ it was accompanied by efforts to plan strategically, despite an uncertain future. However, for those enterprise it leaders with an eye on the future, the situation represented a once-in-a-generation opportunity to accelerate positive change.

The smartest organisations were not those that simply sought to get through this period and return to whatever their version of normal was. the forward-thinking businesses have implemented changes that will shape a new future, usher in a new age of work/ life balance and mobility and accelerate the promise of digital transformation.

This is because the fear factor that surrounded the concept of the cloud has now broken down and, thanks to these companies’ own experiences during lockdown, has given a fresh perspective on its place as a strategic technology.

There’s no doubt that remote workforces have benefited from a more positive assessment of their contribution, finally shattering long held scepticism that they would be unproductive unless micro-managed. Many companies have actually reported increases in productivity and customer satisfaction scores during this period.

More to the point, the workforce itself also now knows it does not need to be anchored to desks or physical locations to serve customers and each other. of course, truly unlocking the developmental potential of cloud computing will not happen automatically. In fact, four fundamentals must be in place before cloud computing can really be harnessed to help drive development.

These four are skills development, proper policies, safeguards to keep data private and secure, and effective infrastructure. If African countries can get these fundamentals right, cloud computing could become a powerful ally in the push for sustainable development. of course, this will still require navigating a range of complex issues, from data privacy regulation to reliable electricity and bandwidth supply.

Prior to the pandemic, commercial influences suggested that the cloud would eventually become the dominant enterprise technology infrastructure; all organisations needed to do was become comfortable with the idea.

Although organisations had been toying with this notion of digital transformation and cloud for some time, due to its ability to allow remote access to critical business information, they suddenly found themselves forced into a position of do or die, which has effectively compressed the general cloud adoption curve from years to mere months.

Now that it has, most enterprises have experienced the power the cloud has to make their operations more resilient and more agile. these were good strengths to have before the crisis, they certainly are during it, and they will be even more so once it has passed.

The Huawei Mustek team offer the two fold benefit of providing technology that is state of the art and at the forefront in terms of innovation, as well as ongoing investment within and in support of their partner base. “Moreover, thanks to significant ongoing R&D and investment in new ICT technologies such as 5G, AI, and cloud, Huawei and Mustek are well positioned  to fully leverage the collaborative advantages of the new technologies to accelerate product innovation, industry digitisation and intelligent development.

While the future remains highly uncertain, by taking the lessons learned from our rapid exposure to the cloud, and by making them a fundamental part our planning, businesses, especially those on the African continent, can come out of this stronger than when they went in.

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