It is difficult in the age of technology to define “the traditional work environment.” The BYOD and work-from-home era has allowed flexible work schedules to keep employees happy and allows businesses to save on overhead costs such as heating, electricity, etc. At the same time, tech startup teams are residing in church basements, and young entrepreneurs are renting desks in shared workspace buildings. No matter what people are doing and where they are working, the reality is that the typical nine-to-five schedule is dead.
Many people work when they want to, and where they want to, even if that means staying glued to a computer screen until the early hours of the morning. The hyper-professional, suit-and-tie organizations still exist – mostly in financial districts – while other folks pad around the office in jeans and flip flops. Despite all of these different workplace characteristics, and the ever evolving definitions of “work” and “career,” one thing is pretty clear – technology as a whole is continuing to change how we all work, and the cloud, in particular, is the key driver in allowing us to clock in, collaborate and contribute from anywhere in the world. In this slideshow, David Block, senior vice president, Engineering, Backupify, looks at a few ways the cloud is contributing to the transformation of the modern day workspace.
Transforming the Modern Day Workspace
Click through for a closer look at ways the cloud is contributing to the transformation of today’s workplace, as identified by David Block, senior vice president, Engineering, Backupify.
Hardware is smaller and sleeker.
Pre-cloud, most office computers were a mess of tangled cords and colossal towers that barely left room for employees to fit their legs under their desks. Now, the cloud allows for smaller, more functional devices – including slimmer computers, smartphones and tablets – to be seamlessly integrated into the work environment. The amount of storage space available on a 20-inch iMac computer in 2008 was 250GB. In 2014, that number has doubled, with 500GB of storage available on today’s MacBook Pro. What’s more is that the percentage of companies reporting heavy BYOD usage among employees is now at 60 percent.
Software is the service and the service has never been better.
While cloud software services still trail packaged software sales, that dynamic is shifting. In fact, 25 percent of software applications will be software as a service by 2020. Pre-cloud, installing Windows 95 on a computer required 13 floppy disks. Today, “floppies” are obsolete and software lives online, is constantly updated, and is accessible from anywhere.
The paperless office is around the corner.
The cloud puts documents at your finger tips and lets you share instantly and collaborate in real time. This has in many ways eliminated the need for hard copy printouts. It’s a good thing, too, because the cost of printer ink is skyrocketing. At 71 cents per milliliter, it costs more than the same amount of wine (13 cents), oil (8 cents) and even blood (40 cents). Based on those factors, printing industry revenue is expected to decrease 2.4 percent in 2014.
Collaboration has never been easier.
Pre-cloud, employees worked individually on projects and then met with their team members once a week to talk about progress. As people who work in team-based office environments know, a lot can happen in a week. With the help of the cloud, live collaboration has never been easier. Employees can work on projects simultaneously and communicate in real time. This is a huge benefit for companies, and those that have embraced collaboration are 73 percent more likely to report improved sales and new customer acquisitions.
Work from home, work from anywhere.
Telecommuting has increased nearly 80 percent since 2005 and 25 million Americans work from home or a remote location for a portion of their workweek. Though there’s something comforting about having an office to call home and a place to reconnect with co-workers, being able to work anywhere at any time is a luxury that can greatly impact an organization’s bottom line.
Data protection and storage moves from the filing cabinet to the cloud.
There once was a time when co-workers fought over filing space, but today, data protection and storage has moved away from the cabinet and into the cloud. An estimated one Exabyte of data is stored on the cloud, and much more is coming. But with so much data in the cloud, are companies taking the right steps to protect it? Research says no. While 54 percent of IT pros use some form of software-as-a-service applications, only 48 percent of companies are backing up the data they store.
The cloud has had an enormous impact on the traditional work environment, and in many ways, made the typical work day less typical and a whole lot easier for employees. Companies should take advantage of all these benefits, while also understanding that this new “cloudy” frontier still requires the IT department’s attention. The cloud also comes with a need for increased security and backup technology. The real successful companies will be those who can take advantage of the latest and greatest technology to transform the workplace, and improve the bottom line without losing sight of the precautionary measures necessary to navigate the dangerous sea of innovation.