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Working in the cloud

Companies are increasingly using virtual applications and storage

  • Key4Communications
28/11/2012

Almost everyone agrees that we will end up working in the cloud, that is, keeping both applications and documents in a virtual storage space, and accessing them wherever we are, using the devices we want to and thanks to the almost ubiquitous internet connections.

This way of working is growing and now has 375 million users, according to a report by the consultancy firm IHS. It is also a strategic part of business plans of companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft, as well as of companies that offer storage, such as Dropbox, Box, Cubby and others.

In fact, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center and Elon University, 71% of technology and internet experts think that the cloud will be more important than desktop applications over the decade, and that most users will opt for these services in 2020.

This is more than understandable, given two very marked trends in the labour market:

- The mobile office. New technologies allow us to continue working even if we are not in the office, and we can work from home or while traveling, thanks to the internet and the applications and content we have in the cloud.

- BYOD. These acronym, Bring Your Own Device, refers to how the consumer market is much faster than IT departments: employees want to use their own personal mobile phones and tablets in the workplace, rather than wait for the company to provide them with these devices, if they do so. This requires safe and universal working systems.

Working in the cloud offers many advantages:

- The information is accessible from anywhere and with any device, as long as we can connect to the internet. We do not need to be in the office and in front of our computer, and we can use a tablet in a client's office, for example. It is increasingly easier to share information, not only among employees of a company, but with partners, customers and suppliers.

- Costs are lower, because firms can expand services as needed, without having to install large servers in the office from the beginning. There are many companies such as Google and Dropbox, for example, that offer some of their services for free. In fact, some businesses start using public cloud services and are slowly creating their own private cloud, using or not services from other companies.

- This system is more sustainable, since servers are not needed for each company or each subsidiary, and energy consumption is thus lower.

Obviously, this system also presents risks:

- Internet dependence.

- The dependence on the supplier that provides these services.

- The fact that sensitive company information is hosted on outside servers.

In conclusion, this is a new working method useful for flexible businesses and professionals in movement. And this currently means all businesses.

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