How cloud platforms are helping regional companies fight the Covid-19 pandemic? How cloud platforms are helping regional companies fight the Covid-19 pandemic?
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How cloud platforms are helping regional companies fight the Covid-19 pandemic?

How cloud platforms are helping regional companies fight the Covid-19 pandemic?

New technologies are reshaping the way we live and work


The world has been severely affected by the pandemic triggered by Covid-19. All walks of life have been forced to overhaul their lifestyle and work habits, including nearly every industry within the Middle East.

Such transitions would not have been possible without the proliferation of cloud-based services, which have enabled enterprises to swiftly alter their business models to catch up with the rapid pace of change.

The new epidemic has changed people’s patterns of production and life, and it is a paradigm revolution. In the past, we often talked about promoting informatisation, from internet access to clouds and chains. This epidemic is a social phenomenon, which has forced production and life to change its mode.

The situation has made it necessary to look at new technologies, industries and new business models in real scenarios. Many inflection points of business models have been reflected, such as e-learning, online healthcare, remote working, and digital conferencing.

Imagine just for a moment if there was no cloud. The lockdown would likely have kept many businesses out of operation. Working from home would have been extremely tough. Online streaming services such as Netflix would not be entertaining so many people while delivery services also would have restricted reach. Instant messaging might have also had limited functionality. Behind the scenes, all of these real-world applications and services require robust cloud infrastructure to keep things running.

Moreover, cloud-based services do more than just let people live as “normally” as possible amid these unprecedented times. The power of cloud has been shown in a wide range of scenarios, including complex tasks requiring a combination of AI and cloud computing.

Take the example of digital governments. Data has become a production factor alongside land, labour, capital and technology, and is playing an increasingly important role in governance. Cities in China are exploring new governance systems, such as big data platforms and city ‘intelligent twins’.

These allow governments to flexibly use big data resources and technologies to discover, analyse and respond to problems across economic and social operations from a broader perspective. They also optimise government management, services, and decision-making modes, and help build a new system that uses data to speak and make decisions.

In terms of education, with so many students being schooled at home, online learning became essential – again requiring solid cloud-based infrastructure. On the healthcare front, new cloud-based AI research and development platforms are also being crafted to accelerate applications in genomics, drug discovery, and medical imaging.

Looking more broadly at the region’s business community, enterprises of all sizes are receiving support to migrate their businesses onto the cloud to ensure continuous operations during the pandemic.

Joint Efforts Needed 
Countries in the region have some of the most advanced ICT infrastructure, which has enabled governments, companies, schools, and other organisations to accelerate their digitisation initiatives and adapt more rapidly to pandemic circumstances.

Cloud platforms in particular are becoming more widely applied, and as a result, nations are now increasing their investments in building digital capacity in recognition of it being a vital engine for driving post-pandemic economic recovery. Today, ICT companies in the region have a critical role to play in the evolution of digital economies working alongside governments, NGOs, and local communities to harness technologies like cloud computing to spur industrial innovation and investment.

We also have a responsibility to create opportunities for exchanging commercial, policy and regulatory-related perspectives, and enabling knowledge exchange opportunities.

Even before the pandemic, we often saw that people worked in silos with regards to technology development. This is something that must change in order for us to reap the plethora of opportunities that will be presented by a digitally-empowered, cloud-enabled economy.

Li Shi is the regional president of Huawei Cloud and AI Business Group

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