Picture the beautiful Lake Wanaka of New Zealand – the never-ending sand beach, the ducks, the sea gulls, the cold breeze, and the warmest sun on the planet. At 10 am, a bunch of cool kids will get there with their surfboards in hand. There are food trucks around you selling burritos, wood-oven pizzas, seafood, and the French guy selling sweet and savory crepes. There is a supermarket right next to the lake and some person will go grab a beer at 10 in the morning. He/she will then head to the lake beach, will find a quiet bench, take a sip from the beer pint, and start working on the laptop.
Now who is this person? A writer? A photographer? A cartoonist? A freelancer, perhaps? Or a NatGeo employee who works and travels as a part of his job? May be a Netflix scout or movie cinematographer doing a reconnaissance for a shoot? While it could be one of these or more, let us for a second assume that this person is YOU. But this is not your time off. So how could this person be you?
The answer comes from the revolution caused by the digital economy. We are moving into a world that is not only interconnected but where virtual presence is replacing physical attendance. Similarly, work is being done on “cloud” no matter how complex it is. Whether it is a platform, infrastructure, or complex software you work on, more and more opportunities to work on the cloud are cropping up. A Linux environment, Adobe Lightroom, a coding software bundle, SAS practice through the virtual lab at Great Learning – cloud enables you to work from anywhere in the world hassle-free. Work on the cloud and you are the master of your dest – destination, if not destiny.
Cloud computing has enabled the uberization of workforce around the world. More and more IT professionals can use the cloud to store, share, manage, and process data. Cloud computing as a concept began with the virtualisation of services and the need to share resources efficiently. It cuts huge IT infrastructural costs and management costs as people get the pay-as-you-go model. To know the reasons why professionals and organisations are adopting cloud technologies at a lightning speed to carry out work, read below:
- Work from Anywhere – Internet connection, a laptop, and peace of mind – that’s all you need to work from anywhere in the world. Devices do not matter anymore when it comes to something as simple as storing, sharing, or accessing information. Think of the Google Docs as the most basic example. The world is such a better place all thanks to what we can do with platforms, services, software, and basically entire set-ups on cloud. Businesses are heavily investing in cloud computing providing employees the work-life balance and flexibility that they need to carry out work activities. Adobe mentions only two mandatory work-from-office days in several of their job descriptions. Harvard Business Review concluded that remote workers are often more engaged with colleagues and supervisors than in-office workers. Another study reveals that 42% workers would swap a portion of their pay (6%) for the benefits of working remotely.
- Document Version Control – More collaborators earlier meant more inputs but way more chaos. Thanks to watertight version control in documents, you can now collaborate with several stakeholders, solicit ideas, and implement edits. Whether it is Google docs, tagging, and threading in chat applications, or design files – document control has made it possible to avoid multiple attachments of the same file during the lifecycle of a project, conflicting versions, and keeping cumulative feedback in one place. File sharing apps and collaborative workflow on cloud enable users to update files in real time and help maintain transparency with collaborators. More collaboration ensures more value-add to any project. Moving to the cloud ensures all files are stored centrally so teams don’t wait for people to return from vacation or curse you when only you have the access to the latest version to a document in your absence. Sip that martini now and switch off your phone!
- Risk Mitigation and Disaster Management – Independent professionals and those working with smaller businesses often struggle with the cost of maintaining back-ups and amplifying their security measures. Hence, they are most susceptible to attacks and losing important documents due to hardware or software crashes. But cloud enables them to secure their files and systems from attacks through online packages and third-party vendor assistance in events of a system crash. Another major menace is lost hardware in the form of laptops and storage devices like hard drives, pen drives, etc. carrying intellectual property worth millions sometimes. This is often accompanied by high costs and delay in getting things started again. Accenture’s cybercrime study reveals that there is a 22.7% increase in the cost of cybersecurity in 2017. Cloud computing provides refuge with greater security measures and accountability. One can remotely delete sensitive data and reset devices in case of a breach.
- Reduced Cost Through Subscription-Based Models: Cloud computing helps cut high costs of sophisticated hardware costs. License-based platforms or software are paving the way for subscription-based packages. A photographer no longer needs to buy 700$ Adobe Photoshop to use it. He/she can simply subscribe to a monthly membership of 79$ and cancel it the moment work is over. Several cloud applications have dedicated apps to provide you a device-agnostic superlative experience. A subscription model also cuts down the hardware cost by providing services, platforms, and software to run with the minimum system requirements as all the processing is being done on cloud. According to Gartner, “Subscription-based models allow for a more agile deployment cycle and faster time to value and give all team members access to updated software, and in the cloud ensures that all are using the same version. Another major driver for subscription-based models is ‘Perception of affordability.’ Because a subscription is based on a controllable unit of specification, this approach gives business units some control over expected costs and a clearer picture of their IT-related costs.”
- So, What’s Your Cause? Working on cloud not only has its benefits for professionals and organisations but also on our deteriorating environment with irreversible damage caused by the indelible carbon footprint we are responsible for. More and more companies are freeing up physical space of hosting up servers and storage systems as their energy needs see-saw. It is no longer considered prudent to acquire unnecessary resources that may only be relevant to one client. Another area seeing progress is that of “gender gap” that continues to be the reality of workforce in most domains. According to NYTimes, “Employees and some employers view the practice as broadly beneficial, saying that remote workers are more productive and that the additional flexibility can help to close the gender gap.” Cloud has propelled several individuals to join the workforce in the skilled sector to continue their jobs while juggling with their personal commitments.
Cloud computing is changing the way we function, how we strategise, and more importantly, how we think. So, the next time you see a man working at the Lake Wanaka beach, tell him that you would like to share the bench to work.