Though only a few years old, cloud technology has already revolutionized the modern workplace. Tools like Google Docs, Skype, and Dropbox have made telecommuting easier than ever before. At an increasing rate companies are allowing their employees to work remotely – either full time or in a partial capacity, which not only saves time but also increases overall worker satisfaction.
Cloud technologies are still in their infancy and due to this fact the revolution surrounding cloud computing is expected to continue for some time. And while businesses of all sizes will benefit from this development, cloud computing promises to be especially beneficial to small businesses in particular.
In this article, we will examine some of the ways that cloud technology is expected to develop in the future and discuss what this means for small businesses.
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Increasingly-Specific Business Models
As cloud computing becomes more developed, ecosystems will begin to develop around cloud applications. In the same way that the popularity of television created TV repair business; cloud technologies will prompt the creation of their own support industries. As more of our lives move to cloud computing, businesses will evolve to keep up. Evidence of this can already be seen in the increase of SEO experts and other technology consultants in recent years.
The (Continued) Rise of the Freelancer
An increase in telecommuting means more possibilities for freelancers. It allows them to get their work done from anywhere in the world. As cloud computing continues to develop, it will prompt the rise of a new mobile worker; workers who maintain their professional identity almost exclusively online. These employees are not bound to one company, but often work interchangeably for multiple companies.
On the flip side, businesses will utilize freelancers more to isolate costs and outsource day-to-day functions that can be done by someone without a deep involvement in the company.
The Rise of Ad-Hoc Teams
As freelancing increases, businesses will begin to create entire ad-hoc teams of freelancers. As businesses become increasingly comfortable working with freelancers, the perceived risk associated with freelancers will be reduced and as a result, it will seem more manageable. Furthermore, hiring freelancers to work on a project rather than on an hourly or monthly basis will increase efficiency and that will be directly passed on to consumers.
The Rise of David (of Goliath Fame)
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One of cloud computing’s biggest promises is its ability to put cutting edge technology into the hands of small businesses. Back in the 1970s, only a few companies across the world could afford computers. As costs dropped, smaller companies could afford to purchase computers, which lent itself to the rise of the startup business.
As cloud computing continues to develop, we expect this trend to continue. Cloud computing allows everyone access to cutting edge technology. And companies with a dozen people is far more efficient than a large multinational companies. Additionally, without the need for a physical, brick-and-mortar presence, the overhead is way more cost efficient.
An example of this can be seen in the rise of online-only banks. These banks are able to eliminate most banking fees by having low overhead of their own. Customers can conduct all of their banking needs online, and are largely allowed to use any ATM they would like with no fee. Due to the fact that online banks have low overhead, they can cover fees like this and still make a profit comparable to the world’s largest banks.
The Future Looks Cloudy
Cloud computing increases efficiency and that alone justifies further investment in the technology. Cloud computing will continue to revolutionize the modern economy and prove to be a source of great change in the future.
Mod Master Contributor, Nick Rojas