6 Cloud Trends Driving Workers Out Of The Office

6 Cloud Trends Driving Workers Out Of The Office

6 Cloud Trends

Freedom from the office and the promise of working from anywhere has been an illusion for many years. However, this illusion now seems to be closer to reality than ever before. Automattic, the hosting company for WordPress.com servers, knows the future is now. They have 123 people that operate like self-employed workers, taking advantage of cloud and mobile apps to communicate across 26 countries and 94 cities. Everyone works from home. Here are six trends driving us out of our offices and into the cloud.

1.       Increased availability of SaaS/cloud applications

The fact that you are reading this is testament to the increased buzz surrounding SaaS/Cloud computing, a buzz that was absent in previous incarnations of the technology (notably ASP during the 1990s). Whether the buzz is driving vendors to produce applications specific for the cloud, or improved applications are feeding the fervor, is a mute point. To drive a greater usage of the cloud, applications written specifically for the cloud need to be freely available. Advances in technology, the availability of open-source code, and modern platforms such as AWS, are fueling the development of these applications. With innovations in distribution like Apple’s app store, users are now connected with these applications like never before.

2.       An explosion in mobile devices capable of accessing these apps

As evidenced by IDC , by 2015 more people in the U.S. will access the internet with a mobile device than with a PC, decreasing wired access by half. This is a huge shift in emphasis that has precipitated a disruption in the market as key players struggle for supremacy or survival. Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility, Nokia’s tie-up with Microsoft and even RIM can read the texting on the screen, allowing Android to run on its devices. The bottom line is that with more devices in circulation able to access cloud-based applications, the demand from the user base to be able to access an ever-increasing number of apps will only increase.

3.       Increased social media use

Social media has become ubiquitous. Proof: even my technophobic mother-in-law now has a Facebook account. This level of usage is raising user expectations from all apps. As a result of increased mobile messaging, alerts and postings, the modern workplace will function more like Facebook and Twitter than MS Office. Microsoft knows this. That’s why they paid $1.2 billion for Yammer. The new norm will be that employees must be able to access their work from anywhere, just like their Twitter feed, and will no longer be chained to their desk.

4.       Pressure on IT departments to reduce budgets

The global slowdown has put pressure on all aspects of our society and the IT department is no exception. I know many CIOs that are entering this budgeting cycle being told to do more with less. For them, a pay-as-you-go model offered by SaaS vendors can be attractive, or even delegating application selection to the requesting business area. It is widely acknowledged that Taleo and SuccessFactors owed much of their success to winning the hearts, minds and budgets of the HR department. Company-provided mobile devices are also declining in favor of a BYOD (bring your own device) approach, but this is doing nothing to abate the will for employees to access corporate networks and applications remotely.

5.       Globalization

We live in a rapidly shrinking world. If you don’t believe how close or similar we have become, just look inside your children’s bedroom. “Hello Kitty,” JK Rowling, Christiano Rolando and Justin Bieber graphically represent our shrinking planet. Globalization is also driving our corporations and their systems.  Increasingly, employees are required to access common data from anywhere on the planet. Old-world networked solutions are outdated and expensive; the cloud is the only practical solution. Given the ubiquitous nature of the workforce, mobile connectivity is the logical answer.

6.       Greatly improved user experience

Remember green-screens and 3270 dumb terminals? You don’t have to go very far to see PCs running emulators or web-wrapped mainframe applications, just visit your bank or check in for a flight. At home we have become used to a high-end user experience, whether from a Playstation, smart TV or a microwave oven, while at work we struggle with outdated corporate applications. For the first time ever the technology we all carry in our pocket is more advanced than what we are required to use at the office. As a consequence pressure is coming from employees who are happy to find alternatives and work-arounds, if they are presented with something that is not as intuitive as their smartphone.

Productivity gains through improved interfaces and access, the eager adoption of new mobile technology and increased collaboration by tech savvy employees all point to creating the anytime, anywhere workplace.

But there’s a catch.

Configurable mobile business management tools may not yet be sufficiently mature. Current applications are either a one-size-fits-all solution, like those for email and chat, or are custom built by the client. Neither is an ideal solution. Certainly, custom-built applications are not only expensive to create, but the time taken to develop and deploy them could make them obsolete before any payback has been achieved. While stitching together point solutions results in hidden support costs, integration costs or compromised processes.

Smaller businesses without resources are therefore stuck with the current crop of mobile business tools until someone figures out how to build configurable applications that combine content and flexibility with low cost.

Even so, the days of being tethered to a desk are numbered. It is only a matter of time before the promise of the mobile office becomes commonplace.

By Simon Hopkins

Simon is cofounder of iBE.net , a developer of cloud- and mobile-based business management software for small to mid-size enterprises. He began his career at Andersen Consulting in 1989 and was most recently Chairman and CEO of ROC Americas Inc., a global IT consultancy. Before that he was COO for Axon Solutions, an IT services firm now part of HCL. He spent 12 years at Druid Group plc, a British IT services company, where he was part of the management team responsible for its IPO in 1996. Simon earned a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Imperial College, London.

About CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading authorities in connected technology information and services.

We embrace and instill thought leadership insights, relevant and timely news related stories, unbiased benchmark reporting as well as offer green/cleantech learning and consultive services around the world.

Our vision is to create awareness and to help find innovative ways to connect our planet in a positive eco-friendly manner.

In the meantime, you may connect with CloudTweaks by following and sharing our resources.

View All Articles

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Connecting Cars To The Cloud

Connecting Cars To The Cloud

The Cloud Connection Cars are becoming more and more connected. There are many YouTube videos of people seizing control of a car remotely and forcing it to operate in unexpected ways. But overall the reality of connection is good. As machines extend human functions we are better off. That said, I was thinking about automation…

Methodically Plan Your Cloud Design First

Methodically Plan Your Cloud Design First

Are You Sure You Are Ready For The Cloud: Design For the last few months, we have been discussing getting ready to go to the cloud. We have covered topics such as Financial and Business Security reasons. We have even discussed the type of knowledge you should obtain. This month, we are going to take…

5 Companies That Took On The Small Business Cloud – And Lost

5 Companies That Took On The Small Business Cloud – And Lost

5 Companies That Took On The Small Business Cloud The growth of cloud based business support systems has been staggering, and while some major software houses have quickly positioned themselves as forerunners in the move to the Cloud, there are several high-flying companies that have so far failed to provide small businesses with the level…

From Startup To Becoming Enterprise Grade

From Startup To Becoming Enterprise Grade

Becoming Enterprise Grade How can an emerging business make a successful transition from selling to SMB customers that fueled their early growth to the enterprise customers that enable long-term profitability? What works with SMB customers often won’t get you a seat at the enterprise table. To make deep inroads into enterprise accounts, you have to…

Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting: 5 Things A Cloud Provider Should Offer

Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting: 5 Things A Cloud Provider Should Offer

Cloud-Enabled Managed Hosting The IT industry moves at light speed fueled by constant change and advancement. No area of IT has been affected more by this change than the hosting and managed service space. Advancement in the cloud and its delivery models of IaaS and SaaS have caused a monumental shift in the way IT…

Hybrid IT Matures Just In Time To Tackle Complex Challenges

Hybrid IT Matures Just In Time To Tackle Complex Challenges

Tackling Complex IT Challenges Sponsored by Hybrid IT: The Next Evolution in Enterprise IT, NetApp and Verizon. Today’s sophisticated business environment demands a dynamic and robust IT infrastructure which is a far cry from the closed, controlled environments that most IT departments were created to handle. A hybrid IT infrastructure, drawing services from multiple cloud-based…

Featured Sponsored Articles
The Benefits of Cloud-Based Phone Systems

The Benefits of Cloud-Based Phone Systems

Cloud-Based Phone Systems This article has been sponsored by RingCentral, provider of state-of-the-art cloud infrastructure. Although today’s businesses rely on a host of modern technology, the century-old telephone call is as essential as ever. Of course, businesses today aren’t relying on simple analog voice calls for effective interaction with partners, suppliers, colleagues, and customers, but…

Featured Sponsored Articles
Working With Cloud White Label Partners

Working With Cloud White Label Partners

Cloud White Label Services Sponsored by CloudMGR The benefits of consolidating your cloud to one of the giants such as AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud are improving as competition increases, with pricing wars between the service providers meaning better savings for businesses utilizing these services, and an abundance of features at user fingertips as…

Featured Sponsored Articles

CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, infosec, big data and the internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Sponsor