Seemingly overnight, a sizeable portion of the global workforce moved to being a remote operation. While everyone is looking for new options about how to try and keep operations running as smooth as possible, cloud vendors are seeing a significant spike in usage.
Earlier this month, Microsoft announced that they would be throttling some Office 365 features to help alleviate bandwidth constraints. And this weekend, the company provided some insight into the surge of growth that they have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Microsoft states that in regions that are practicing social distancing or sheltering in place, usage is up 775% in those regions. Further, the company is seeing 3x increase of Windows Virtual Desktop usage as well.
The strain that a remote workforce is putting on networks will be used as a case-study to help prepare for future events that force this type of working model. The reason why networks are struggling in certain regions is that the onset of the increased load was seemingly overnight, there was no ramp-up period for the added traffic. After this pandemic passes, we can only hope that networks will find ways to increase the capacity to help offset a future surge in required bandwidth.
For several years, Microsoft had been pushing for a utilization increase among its customers for its cloud services. The company provides credits to many of its customers as part of sales bundles or other activities but having customers fully utilize their benefits has frequently been a challenge. I suspect that with COVID-19, there are not many cloud credits going unused this fiscal year.
While Microsoft is on the front lines of the remote workforce operations, there are many other companies that are benefiting from this scenario. Slack has announced strong growth for its services and it’s likely that Google’s G-Suite is seeing growth as well as nearly every other remote collaboration tool.