I read recently that within 20 years, offices won’t exist. Or at least, they won’t exist in the way we know and use them today. Offices will become spaces that represent a brand headquarters that can be used as temporary workspaces and for meetings, a more extreme example of hot-desking.
But why is this? The Internet and the cloud are allowing for more flexibility and mobility within business. Couple that with scalability and we are seeing small businesses starting to thrive and expand into global businesses.
That isn’t to say they’re suddenly becoming huge corporations, but rather that technology has endorsed a global solution for business, whereby members of a team can be spread around the world with little effect on day-to-day business.
If anything, the global nature of the business of the future is helping small companies find new audiences and customers that they never could have found before. They are exploring new opportunities for different markets around the world without needing to be a large organisation. And cloud computing is leading the way in building global businesses.
Here are three of the ways cloud computing is influencing growth of global companies:
The cloud has provided something that past ways of working couldn’t allow: flexibility. Fifteen years ago, the Internet wasn’t good enough for an employee to tell their boss: “I’m working from home next week.”
It would have caused trouble and there would have been difficulty accessing files and programs. But today, and even more so in the years to come, an employee could effectively only work from home. This is because of the flexibility of the cloud and what it offers paired with a change in industry that see more technology and Internet reliant jobs being created all the time.
You can access files and programs over the Internet and even use remote desktop so things are the same as if you were in the office. Home offices will more rapidly become popular in the coming years, and that will lead the way for global growth.
The flexibility of the cloud can even allow employees to work in a different country or continent without negatively affecting the work being done.
Scalability, offered by cloud computing, is generally leading to the growth of companies. Without the need to buy expensive hardware, it is easier than ever to upgrade server and computing power at a low cost.
As well as scaling the technical infrastructure of the business, the cloud is allowing for growth in other areas. Where money might be saved on hardware costs, money might be invested in people. And due to the flexible and mobile nature of cloud computing, those people can be located anywhere in the world. It opens opportunities to hire the perfect person whilst also expanding into a new market that was otherwise unreachable.
Mobility is possibly the key to how cloud computing is influencing the growth of global businesses. I came across an example of a tech start-up that has a HQ based in China, a CEO based in Thailand and then developers and marketers dotted around South America and Europe.
Their own view was that the entire business had become more like a global sales team, spread around the world because the tech allowed them to do so. The CEO travels the world week-by-week visiting team members and selling their product to new markets because the mobility of the infrastructure they use allows them to.
Even some airlines have Wi-Fi meaning the 8-hour flight from London to New York becomes prime time to do some work, uninterrupted by phone calls.
But the really interesting thing about this company is they are only made up of about ten people, but each person is based in a different country.
Only a few years ago, we would have considered this inconceivable but with advances in tech and cloud computing, it’s possible for anyone to work anywhere around the world as if they were in the office next door.
Cost is still a factor many businesses have to consider when upgrading and adopting the cloud. In many ways, it reduces the overall infrastructure cost and despite it being a powerful business tool that provides flexibility, scalability and mobility and therefore global growth, there can be a lot of expense if it’s not managed properly.
Over-provisioning is a common issue. It occurs when companies spin-up lots of new servers in the cloud, for example with Amazon Web Services, and then pay the cost when these servers are left on for 24 hours a day for the duration of a project or build.
However, this can be avoided through server management and cloud management tools (such as CMM) and shouldn’t be something that discourages companies from adopting the cloud and allowing for growth, possibly into the global market!
See what CMM can do for your business and how much money you can save with our savings estimator.