The ongoing coronavirus crisis is changing the manner in which individuals live their day-to-day lives. Office closures and social distancing have resulted in a massive and sustained surge in users of collaboration, shopping and entertainment solutions as the entire world converts personal interactions to virtual ones.

Given this situation, it’s hard to imagine a world without cloud technology. At no other point in time has there ever been such a need for the instant availability of IT resources enabled by the cloud than during this pandemic. Without the cloud, we couldn’t do many of the things we do every day – a list that has grown exponentially during this global coronavirus outbreak: from games to productivity apps and the software used by businesses and institutions, there’s a vital role cloud computing plays.

Stay-at-home orders are unsurprisingly increasing traffic to video streaming sites, apps and social media platforms. As an example, downloads of Netflix’s app — a proxy for traffic from the streaming site — jumped 66 percent in Italy, according to data from Sensor Tower, an app data company.

Covid-10 outbreak is also affecting how organizations work. One of the primary issues with coronavirus in the workforce is ensuring that employees are safe — and that requires that they keep their distance from each other. Allowing employees to work from home is a smart (and sometimes legally required) move when combating the spread of the virus. Cloud-based solutions can usually be accessed from anywhere in the world; all an employee needs is a device to access the tool’s portal. This means that all a worker has to do to use cloud solutions from home is access to the Internet and/or any required software.

While they’re not working in the office, employees still need a way to collaborate with each other on projects. Cloud-based solutions allow users to work on the same resources even when they aren’t in the same physical location. At the most basic level, a company should have a communication tool so employees can talk to each other in real-time. More advanced solutions allow users to collaborate on documents and projects from anywhere and are worth deploying if your company doesn’t use them already.

Therefore it comes as no surprise that Microsoft has aggressively pushed its new business messaging and collaboration tool, Microsoft Teams. Some days ago, Microsoft said the number of users on Teams had grown 37 percent in a week to more than 44 million daily users. There have been at least 900 million meeting and call minutes on Teams every day.

“We believe that this sudden, globe-spanning move to remote work will be a turning point in how we work and learn,” wrote Jared Spataro, corporate vice president at Microsoft 365.

If there’s anything positive to be said about the situation, it’s that the world is being put to the test. As a result, we are being innovative, and strengthening our toolset — and more innovations are to come.