Is your head in the cloud? If not, maybe it should be. One cutting-edge workplace trend experts have been talking about – and are talking about even more in 2013 – is cloud computing. Whether you are just learning about the cloud or you’ve already been dipping your toe in the water, your business center management needs to understand the cloud and leverage it to maximize potential.
That’s because Sodexo, a world leader in quality of daily life solutions, has identified “thriving in the cloud” as one of the top workplace trends for 2013. Especially if your business center is pushing virtual office services, you need to tap into cloud technology – and fast – or risk the potential of appearing too “old school” for modern workers.
“The cloud is like a virtual public utility for computing power, enabling us to use software virtually to share ideas, collaborate, and build knowledge,” Sodexo reports. “The industry is less than a decade old, but more than eight in 10 companies currently use some form of cloud solution, and more than half plan to increase cloud investments by 10 percent or more this year.”
Sodexo is not the only firm talking about the rise of cloud computing among the modern workforce. Market research firm IDC calls cloud computing the foundation for the technology industry’s next 20 years of growth, marking the cloud as “nothing less than the complete transformation of the industry’s core offering and business models.” What is the significance for business centers? It moves communications from the desktop to a virtual environment, making everything available on an on-demand basis.
“Need extra storage capacity? It is there on the cloud on demand. Need access to sophisticated software programs for a one and done project? You can rent access on the ‘cloud’ rather than having to buy expensive programs that you many never use again. Need to collaborate with colleagues on a project? Cloud services are available,” Sodexo reports.
“The cloud makes access to information available from anywhere at anytime, so that workers are no longer hostage to desktops or networked devices. The cloud truly is transforming industries, and will have a profound and positive impact on the way we live, shop, interact, and work in the near future.”
Think about it for a minute. The cloud is empowering the mobile and virtual workforce to work smarter, faster and more efficiently. Many business centers, meanwhile, are targeting the mobile and virtual workforce. As workers get more accustomed to working in the cloud, your business center needs to get its head in the cloud as well.
You might consider partnering with cloud-based service providers to flesh out amenities for your virtual office and mobile working tenants. Cloud-based services typically are along the lines of storage, CRM, instant messaging, and e-commerce. At the very least, you should have popular cloud-based software like Skype, Dropbox, and other popular apps installed on computers in your business center so users can log in to their accounts quickly.