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Why the Way We Work Will Never Be the Same Again

Why the Way We Work Will Never Be the Same Again

Many journalists are comparing the rise of cloud computing with the invention of electricity. Now, we know that journalists are usually prone to the use of hyperboles, as electricity has completely changed the way humans live, and we are now completely dependent on it. What about cloud computing?

In previous articles, like 5 Ways a Small Business can use the Cloud, I have discussed the impact cloud computing has had on businesses but its effects are felt by everybody. Although cloud computing has not changed our lives in the same way as electricity, it has definitely transformed the way we work. And considering that we spend roughly about a third of our lives at work (not including getting ready and commuting, which in America takes around an hour a day on average) and another third sleeping, its impact is not insignificant.

So what has actually changed?

  • First, it has completely opened up the work place, creating more opportunities and more freedom. Cloud computing allows companies to work with employees from any geographical location easily, as they can access the same applications as if they were on the premises without any complications. This translates in increased opportunities for employees, who are no longer restricted to looking for work in the vicinity of their homes, and for businesses who can draw on talent from potentially the entire world.
  • Secondly, collaboration between different employees is effortless. Entire teams can work together using the same document or application, in real time and with instant results; from anywhere and using any device, without worrying about any compatibility issues.
  • Thirdly, cloud computing makes life easier for sales people, managers and executives travelling, as it eliminates the need for paper or other devices to store information. Everybody can access any data they need for presentations or decision making and they can always be sure the information is accurate and updated.

To summarize, cloud computing has brought choice, flexibility, efficiency and convenience to the world we work in. People can now work where it is convenient to them, saving more than an hour a day for other important things in their lives. Opportunities are now open to everybody, translating into a better quality of life. Access to updated information is better and faster and collaboration is easier, enabling work to be completed more efficiently and with better results.

In conclusion, cloud computing facilitates not only better working conditions and results, but also increased quality of life. Maybe comparing cloud computing with electricity is not such an exaggeration after all.

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  • Tim Wessels

    October 7, 2011

    Actually, I think the first writer to make the electric utility and cloud computing utility comparison was Nicholas Carr in his book “The Big Switch” which was published in 2008 just as the cloud computing juggernaut was getting rolling.

    I have no disagreement with your selection of how the cloud has changed the ways in which people organize their work and go about it. The more fundamental shift represented by the cloud is the change from a fixed cost IT model to one based on variable costs. From a model that was controlled by IT to one that is controlled by the users of IT services.

    The longer term consideration is how the cloud will evolve in a long term declining economy that generates little to no economic growth. I think in this likely scenario that most business will be turning to the cloud because they will no longer be able to afford to provision IT services in-house.

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