As of the 30th of June, any employee with over 6 months of service has the right to request flexible work hours. It’s predicted that this will cause a major surge through July, why? It is expected that a quarter of the population will put in requests to work remotely. Unfortunately, many businesses are simply unprepared for such a surge and will struggle to meet the demands set by the remote workers. Possible expected result? More companies will be pushed to invest in cloud computing models to keep their workforce proactive and remote work effective.
Not only can the cloud allow both remote workers and office bound workers to perform their roles better, but it can also put them at an advantage and compete on a level playing field within their industry. Though there are a lot of solutions that businesses could adopt, it is still a delicate and complex issue for many SMEs. The cloud can offer more than storage solutions. Thanks to major advances in computer technology, it can actually replicate entire computer systems streaming directly to the employees’ personal devices such as a laptop, tablet or smartphone. With the right protocols in place, employees who work remotely can be just as productive as those who work in an office environment or even more.
What do remote workers need?
Most people would simply say “Data” but this is a very broad term. More specifically, a remote worker would need access to their documents and files even when they don’t have access to their computer. In some instances, they might need a specific application in order to access the data which they don’t have on the device they are using – this can cause major headaches for both the end user and the businesses IT department.
But with a cloud solution, these problems can be drastically reduced or possibly eliminated. With the introduction of a Desktop as a Service (DaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS) model, end users can not only access the data they need but also have access to the industry specific applications as and when they need to, providing the flexibility needed to work effectively from anywhere. With the right services, the cloud can ultimately replace an employees’ desk.
What about people who work in an office?
Even those who work in busy office environments can benefit from the cloud. Many businesses with aging in-house servers adopt cloud backup solutions due to the security that the cloud offers. The same is apparent with remote storage solutions. Instead of spending money buying hard drives to store their data, a business can simply invest in a cloud storage solution and pay for the data storage capacity as and when they need it, eliminating the need of buying copious amounts of fragile storage mediums.
Another way a business could use cloud technology to improve the efficiency of a busy office is through an intranet solution such as Microsoft SharePoint. SharePoint is a collaboration and communication solution that allows both internal and external connections to connect with one-another through what is essentially a website. With its heavy integration of other Microsoft products such as Outlook and Office 2013, it can improve the efficiency of a workforce by providing a unified computing solution allowing for better synergy. In a survey of over 300 SMEs, it was revealed that a mere 14% of those use cloud-based productivity suites while another 22% were considering implementing a cloud based productivity service in the near future.
Utilising these technologies helps businesses to become more competitive by leveraging resources already used rather than causing unnecessary investments in hardware, software or dedicated engineers. This allows the business to focus on more important tasks and overall business objectives, as less time and effort needs to be put into the management of IT systems.
If you want to find out how the cloud can benefit your business, download our free guide to cloud computing today.