The Covid-19 pandemic has brought restrictions on the movement and congregation of people, forcing companies to operate businesses and manage staff remotely. Overnight, China became the world’s largest work-from-home market, with Hong Kong following soon after. Remote working has traditionally been a perk of joining a start-up and a way for cool tech to attract the best and brightest. Covid-19 has catapulted this trend into the mainstream in a matter of weeks, making remote working the accepted way of doing business for tens of thousands of employees and hundreds of companies nationwide. A survey of over 1,400 Chinese companies in February found that 32 per cent of companies that resumed work were permitting employees to work from home. Even the Hong Kong government adopted a work from home policy for an entire month, while schools switched to online teaching. Covid-19 and other recent disruptive events have not only forced, but accelerated Greater China’s shift to the cloud. Virtual desktop infrastructure and desktop as a service are perfect examples of how cloud technology is keeping Greater China businesses running during the outbreak. They permit staff to safely and securely access company data from anywhere, on any device, while ensuring network integrity. Coronavirus: China’s investment in AI is paying off in a big way It is common for crisis to spur innovation, but the speed at which reluctant sectors have pivoted to the cloud is unparalleled. A transformation that once may have taken years is now sweeping across every city and sector. And the trend looks set to continue. IDC has already predicted that more than 90 per cent of China’s enterprises will rely on a combination of on-premises private clouds, multiple public clouds, and legacy platforms to meet their infrastructure requirements within the next two years. Our research forecasts a huge shift from traditional IT data centres to hybrid clouds over the next two to five years for Hong Kong. As the centre of the global economy shifts back to Asia, the most naturally turbulent and unpredictable region in the world, any technology that helps eliminate unpredictability and keep the world’s economic engine running ought to be embraced. So it seems unlikely that once the Covid-19 pandemic subsides, Greater China businesses will abandon the cloud. The future of a multi-cloud Greater China looks guaranteed, and Asia is looking more stable and resilient as a result. Edward Yeung, managing director of Hong Kong and Taiwan, Nutanix Purchase the China AI Report 2020 brought to you by SCMP Research and enjoy a 20% discount (original price US$400). This 60-page all new intelligence report gives you first-hand insights and analysis into the latest industry developments and intelligence about China AI. Get exclusive access to our webinars for continuous learning, and interact with China AI executives in live Q&A. Offer valid until 31 March 2020.