An article published earlier this week by Forbes.com outlines how cloud computing is effectively changing the business operation model worldwide.
One of the main reasons that Forbes describes as having a major effect on how business is conducted are the employees themselves. In recent years, more focus has been placed on the distributed workforce and how it can reduce on-site company expenses while also giving workers the luxury of performing tasks from their own home office or mobile device. While the remotely stored data concept is certainly not new, it has forced somewhat of a novel solution between companies and their workforce talent who are unable to commute or unwilling to leave the comfort of their home on a full time basis.
Despite the Yahoo! corporate policy mandated by Marissa Mayer that is officially doing away with the distributed workforce (which could have more to do with getting employees to quit instead of having to dole out severance packages), many companies are coming to realize that employees can be much more productive when working remotely if the circumstances are right. For one, cloud computing has made it possible for project collaborators to share ideas and even update documents in real time, virtually from anywhere on the planet with a reliable Internet connection.
The result has been the ability for everyone from corporate execs to individual freelancers to communicate overseas and even work together as if they were in the same physical location due to tools such as Google Docs, Skype, and other real time collaboration software. Local data storage hasn’t become an inconvenience so much as it has become irrelevant in a virtual world where practically anything of importance can be accessed, stored, revised, and edited non-locally via the cloud.
Forbes.com contributor Michael Goodenough wrote, “For employees that do decide to come into the office, many want to bring their own devices because they prefer or are more familiar with them. Cloud computing is also accelerating the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, allowing employees to virtually ‘dial into’ their corporate systems with their own computers or tablets Cloud computing gives employees these freedoms without IT having to worry about these different machines or the remote access overloading and crashing their on-site infrastructure.”
Traditional IT Business Model
Goodenough went on to explain that “cloud computing has unburdened businesses from the traditional IT business model, giving them more options when it comes to their IT infrastructure. In the past, the business/IT model was very straightforward: Businesses hired IT professionals to run their computer hardware and software. The IT staff had to forecast business needs as far out as 5 or 10 years, and make purchases accordingly.
With cloud computing, you never have to worry about running out of storage or server capacity, resulting in major cost savings. While you still need to forecast the amount of storage or server capacity that you may need, you no longer have to be overly concerned about the capital expense of scaling up your needs if you do require more space or capacity. It’s far less expensive and less of a hassle to increase cloud storage and cloud server needs than on-site infrastructure. You still need IT for many functions, but cloud computing may actually result in less of a need for a full-blown IT staff. You’ll be outsourcing most of your activity to a cloud vendor.”
It is indeed true that cloud computing continues to revolutionize the way firms conduct business; even leading to virtual meetings at the top executive level in many cases in which corporate heads often use the technology to share data in the same way that lower level employees do.