Digital Transformation

Cloud technology and the virtual office

Remote workers expected to become more prominent as online data sharing enables offsite connectivity with their company’s system

The growth of the internet and its ever expanding range of capabilities has resulted in more and more workers performing their duties outside of the office via remote connections, sharing files over cloud networks irrespective of their location.

With data protection programs and effective online records management helping to provide security for their information, companies are able to take full advantage of cloud technology to facilitate offsite staff who need to access the business’ systems.

And as the wide scope of functions supported by the service increases in both efficiency and range, one expert believes that 80 per cent of employees will be working outside of their organisation in the virtual office by 2020.

"Cloud computing allows people to build a geographically diverse team that works together with all the benefits of improved productivity and better communication," said Dr Steven Turner, vice president of Intergence.

Software hosting and enabling extensive document sharing means that companies that use cloud technology can save money on high performance hardware, as all workers require is an active internet connection and web browser; the system requirements are handled by the servers that run the network.

While some may have fears regarding the security issues involved with their data being processed via online services, the secure online backup of files provides a safeguard against any potential breaches of a business’ information and records.

"Regardless of location, employees can use cloud services to share files, access business services, talk to each other or collaborate on shared documents in real time," Dr Turner added.

It is the up-to-the-minute processing of data that makes cloud networks so effective, as systems can respond to the demands of users immediately to enhance performance and productivity.

If the number of employees working remotely is to increase dramatically, the proportion expected to work from home to avoid the congestion during the Olympics could be an early test of the practice.