In 1965, an American psychologist who went by the nickname "Lick," claimed that one day the entire world would be completely interconnected, and be able to share information through the "Intergalactic computer network." Besides that being an awesome name, J.C.R. Licklider predicted the invention of what we now call "cloud computing." Through programs like Google Drive, iCloud, and Dropbox, business professionals now have access to their work regardless of where they are located, which has resulted in a far more flexible and interconnected workforce than any other time in history.
Employees are Agents of Change
While IT professionals typically introduced new technologies to their respective companies in the past, it has shifted to employees bringing various mobile and computing products into the workplace. Consumers now have access to a multitude of computer and mobile options, which has led to an even wider array of consumer-tech company allegiances. With allegiances come feuds, and perhaps the greatest among them was the division between Mac users and PC users. Whether it was Steve Jobs arguing with Bill Gates, the Mac vs. PC commercials (all 66 are available here), or friends arguing over which platform was better, it was bound to spill over into the business world eventually. Consumer loyalty has left employers contemplating which devices they should use for their businesses. If they get a Mac, they upset PC users and if they get PCs and Androids, they upset the Apple users. Therefore, some companies have begun using ‘Bring Your Own Device Programs’ in order to better accommodate their employees.
The major problem with BYOD programs, though, is that they can lead to major security breaches. Employees can lose their devices, or they can accidentally release information that is supposed to be confidential. The response has been to implement mobile-device-management (MDM) systems to monitor employee photos, email, and social networking. People do not particularly enjoy other people sifting through their private photos, which has limited the effectiveness of the program.
Unlike BYOD and MDM systems, cloud based computing allows for business security and respects the privacy of employees. The benefits are three-fold:
- Increased Employee Productivity
- Greater Collaboration and Flexibility
- Constant Communication
By using cloud based computing, businesses can save on hardware costs and to a greater extreme they can also save on office expenses. Employee productivity increases because employees have access to business information 24/7 thereby allowing them to work wherever and whenever they choose to or need to. All business updates to documents are also streamlined on the cloud allowing people from every department to contribute valuable ideas. The cloud also gives employees the ability to be constantly in communication with their groups because they can see real-time updates rather than having to ask about the direction of a project when they are unable to make it to the office.
Mobile Cloud Computing (MCC) has just begun to take flight but it has already influenced businesses around the world and it will continue to do so in the future. The cloud offers security, mobility, flexibility and increases employee communication which can lead to better products through a collaborative process. The future of cloud based computing is here and it’s going to revolutionize the way we work.