6 Cloud Trends Driving Workers Out Of The Office

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 Hopkins 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.

Follow Us!

CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks.com is recognized as one of the leading authorities in cloud computing information. Most of the excellent CloudTweaks articles are provided by our own paid writers, with a small percentage provided by guest authors from around the globe, including CEOs, CIOs, Technology bloggers and Cloud enthusiasts. Our goal is to continue to build a growing community offering the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more...
Follow Us!

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Comics

At CloudTweaks, we're plugged into the cloud, the internet of things and all that the web has to offer. From wearable technology, to mobile computing, cloud computing and big data, CloudTweaks is your source for updates and news on the most innovative technology.

Popular

Top Viral Impact

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most

The Industries That The Cloud Will Change The Most Cloud computing is rapidly revolutionizing the way we do business. Instead of being a blurry buzzword, it has become a facet of everyday life. Most people may not quite understand how the cloud works, but electricity is quite difficult to fathom as well. Anyway, regardless of…

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

A growing number of small and medium businesses in the United States rely on as a means of deploying mission-critical software products. Prior to the advent of cloud-based products — software solutions delivered over the Internet – companies were often forced to invest in servers and other products to run software and store data. The…

Big Data Analytics Adoption

Big Data Analytics Adoption

Big Data Analytics Adoption Big Data is an emerging phenomenon. Nowadays, many organizations have adopted information technology (IT) and information systems (IS) in business to handle huge amounts of data and gain better insights into their business. Many scholars believe that Business Intelligence (BI), solutions with Analytics capabilities, offer benefits to companies to achieve competitive…

Technology Advice Report: 2014 Business Intelligence Buying Trends

Technology Advice Report: 2014 Business Intelligence Buying Trends

Technology Advice Report: 2014 Business Intelligence Buying Trends For nearly every business, the concept of business intelligence is nothing new. Ambitious organizations have been searching for any type of data-driven advantage for some time now – perhaps for as long as they’ve existed. However, the historical use of competitive intelligence pales in comparison to the…

Featured Sponsors

Watching You Shop: Stores And Mannequins “Read” Their Customers And Respond

Watching You Shop: Stores And Mannequins “Read” Their Customers And Respond

Watching You Shop The mannequin in the store window stares blankly ahead as shoppers look at the clothes it is dressed in and contemplate a purchase. One shopper makes some comments. “It’s nice. I wonder if they have my size.” Another takes a few steps inside the store to see where these particular clothes might…

Sponsors

Going Global With The Cloud: Anywhere, Anytime Access

Going Global With The Cloud: Anywhere, Anytime Access

Let’s cut right to the chase… Lots of companies have offered 24/7 availability of systems and data to their customers and employees for years. What else is new? What’s new is that a cloud computing environment can make 24/7 availability possible for small and medium size enterprises (SMEs). (Infographic Source:Towergate) Previously, only organizations with robust IT…

Placement Opportunities - Find Out!

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and 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.

You can help continue to support our community by social sharing, sponsoring, partnering or contributing to this great educational resource.

Contact

CloudTweaks Media
Phone: 1 (212) 763-0021

Join Our Newsletter