A workplace without walls: find out how firms are benefitting from cloud computing and helping to save the planet too
Ever since Sir Tim Berners-Lee hit on the idea of enabling computers around the world to ‘talk’ to each other, technology has transformed how we live, work and relax.
From those early days of getting to grips with internet browsers and email, when social media was strictly for friends to share pictures of cute babies and kittens, technology has evolved to assume a key role in how businesses function.
Today’s tech savvy organisations can cut costs, work more flexibly, retain a more satisfied workforce, discover new markets and engage with customers like never before.
At the heart of the latest technological wave is cloud computing. Not just something for fresh faced start-ups and tech innovators, cloud technology – using the internet to securely store business data, share, collaborate and network – has been described as one of the core technology disruptors of the modern age.
So how is it affecting how we work?
Home and away
Want to check your bank account on the go? Or share news about your firm on Twitter?
Perhaps you’ve stored some favourite photographs on Instagram?
On a personal scale like that, the cloud is handy. Expanded into the workplace and it has the potential to radically change how an organisation operates.
For employees, the most obvious change is in where they work. No longer tied to operating 9 to 5 at the same workstation or office, they can launch their own ‘virtual workspace’ anywhere that has an internet connection, using their laptop, tablet or mobile phone.
For many that might mean working at home or in remote hubs, securely accessing company data, writing and contributing to internal documents, liaising with colleagues in different parts of the country – or, indeed, the world – at the time that’s right for them, you and your customers.
The cloud throws open the office doors. Whether employees are on a train heading to their next meeting or at a business lunch with customers, outside traditional office hours, at a construction site or in another country, it instantly accelerates how they work and delivers the information they need precisely when they need it.
Mobile and adaptable, it provides a solution to modern demands from staff who request a more flexible working week.
For clients and customers, it enables data and information to be shared; transactions are faster, with instant access to important documents, photographs, graphs and other images.
But not only does collaboration with staff and customers become more flexible, because documents can be easily shared and edited online there’s no need for boring trips to the photocopier or printer, or for documents to be caught up in a sluggish cycle of edits, mailrooms and intrays.
That means less paper waste too. A recent report suggested that switching to cloud-based technology can reduce a large business’s carbon footprint by 30 per cent – and up to 70 per cent for small businesses.
Entering the cloud doesn't just help organisations reduce their impact on the environment but also their balance sheet. Organisations in the cloud reduce costs when it comes to maintaining and replacing servers. And as everything is accessed through the internet, companies no longer need to issue staff with costly equipment, making savings through devices such as Google's Chromebooks.
Right here, right now
Agile, efficient, innovative and flexible: buzz words often linked to modern start-ups which have embraced the cloud.
Many large organisations and SMEs have followed their lead and moved away from traditional IT systems, conscious of the need to lay down the right technological structure for whatever the future may bring.
But perhaps telecommuting or rapid collaboration isn’t really that important to your business. What difference does the cloud make then?
Because the cloud (link here http://bit.ly/2j93q1Z lives in the online world, it will survive even if your internal storage system gives up. Sudden crashes that wipe out vital data on your internal servers become a thing of the past as your data is held securely in multiple locations.
It can also be a vital tool when it comes to understanding and analysing the masses of information and data available in today’s fast-paced environment, from social media mentions to stock market movement. It means even smaller firms can tap into and use otherwise complex data and grow their business further.
Cloud or bust?
The next generation of employees and customers have been raised on Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter – they expect the modern world of business to be up to speed.
It means today’s tech savvy business is more likely to attract the right employees and serve customers better, have reduced costs and be in better shape to respond to tomorrow’s technical advances, such as artificial intelligence, interconnectivity and the internet of things.
Want to know more?
Cloud Technology Solutions is Google’s only cloud Premier Partner in Scotland. You can find out what the Desktop of the Future looks like and how they help organisations adopt cloud computing and reduce costs at their events across Scotland. Click here to register your place.