The integration of virtual workspaces into the traditional office setting is thriving incessantly. With the numerous ways cloud computing allows employers to create a world of remote staff with an efficient work environment even outside an office, many companies have ventured in its advantages.
In fact, a report conducted by Statista stated that as of 2015, UK organisations are adopting increasingly the use of cloud-based services with a rate of 84%. Which leads to the question, is cloud computing creating a world of home workers?
What is cloud computing?
The term cloud computing is defined as a system of individual servers wherein using the Internet, authorized individuals can store, access, deliver, and process data across several linked devices in real time. It functions as a way to share information and resources effectively anywhere and in any devices. It is used mainly by small to huge firms to scale their businesses without spending a significant amount of money on their IT Infrastructure.
The cloud can be categorised into four distinct areas:
- Public cloud – an infrastructure open for public use.
- Private cloud – a restricted infrastructure used by one organisation with multiple users. It can be administered internally by the company and externally by a third party.
- Hybrid cloud – a combination of private and public infrastructure. It is a cloud-based service that operates in a private digital space, but the data is stored in a private cloud.
- Community cloud – an infrastructure exclusively shared between a particular community with a similar vision or goal.
Cloud computing stack
It comes in three types of cloud-based services too. All together, they are called cloud computing stack. And it includes:
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
- Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
Cloud computing today
The use of cloud-based services, particularly in U.K, has been a popular alternative for many companies. From small to massive private corporations, many have ventured in cloud computing specifically due to its wide variety of uses as well as it being cost-effective. And throughout five years, it has seen an increase of 36%. Apart from that, the report says that as of 2015 it garnered a total of 84% adoption rate.
Small and medium type businesses had generated a total market valuation of 1.9 billion pounds last 2014 as well. And 65% of entrepreneurs stated that when it comes to IT infrastructure and management, cloud computing is their primary strength.
Moreover, the government of the United Kingdom had invested in cloud-based services too. According to a report, the government has been spending a considerable amount of money—a total of 533.6 million pounds— on building and maintaining its cloud infrastructure. And as a result, it created a rise of revenue for suppliers across the country.
The emergence of telecommuting
One of the many perks cloud computing has brought was telecommuting or the ability to let employees work remotely. The idea has both advantages and disadvantages. However, studies suggest that in 2020, remote working will be the primary method of operation for almost three-quarters of organisations. And the cloud will play a vital part in implementing this type of work setup.
How cloud computing enables remote workers
This one is, perhaps, the top advantage small and huge companies will earn from cloud-based services. Whether inside or outside the office, employees can work wherever they want using it. It allows them the freedom to work in their preferred workstations using any devices without the consequences of losing productivity and collaboration.
Say, if some of your employees are working parents and they can’t come to the office due to personal matters, through the use of cloud-based services they can still work and be productive. Aside from that, the integration of cloud computing also allows you to hire a team of remote staff.
Another benefit of cloud computing is that it gives means to scalability. As what was mentioned, using it allow employers to hire remote staff. And say, if you are planning to expand your team, utilizing them will enable you to hire a group of remote workers successfully without spending a penny for additional hardware and office space cost.
Working remotely does not limit the efficiency of an individual as well since cloud computing lets authorized users to have access to particular information wherever he is. As such, it is an ideal and cost-effective solution for startups and developing businesses.
Easy to access
Accessibility is not an issue in cloud computing services. Applications and files can be accessed easily through any devices—a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or a desktop— via the internet. However, it is only plausible if the user has the permission to do so.
One of the misconceptions of implementing cloud-based services is that it depreciates the collaborative experience of employees. That is, on the one hand, the opposite of what it can do.
The cloud can be accessed via the internet, meaning even though employees are not physically together they are still virtually connected. In other words, they can still communicate, share, and collaborate on ideas. Apart from that, they have total control over several projects and can receive real-time updates too. Hence, working from home does not limit the staffs’ collaborative experience.
The flexibility and convenience cloud computing offers are indeed valuable to both employers and employees. With that, it enables remote workers to grow in number as well. And as the scope of today’s digital landscape continues to augment, it is not merely an alternative but a one-stop solution for productive work setting.
However, these benefits do not necessarily mean that cloud-based services don’t have disadvantages too. Be wary that it is also possible to have security issues, downtime, and mediocre performance. Thus, take the time and weigh its pros and cons first before switching completely.