How the Cloud is Changing the Way We Work

Posted on July 1, 2012 by Nikhil P Naik

The emergence of the cloud has already started changing the way we work. As businesses catch on to the potential of cloud computing, and developers create new and innovative ways of exploiting the technology it will only do so more.

We are the beginning of a technological revolution that will change the face of the modern workplace. Here’s just a few ways it’s already doing that.

IT infrastructure

The emergence of the Saas (Software as a Service) market has transformed the potential IT capabilities of SMB (Small to Medium Businesses) by giving them access to the kind of enterprise class tools previously affordable only to large organisations.

The transference to a non-ownership model of software in business is already happening. By storing software and data in the cloud, not only are businesses getting a much greater return on investment but their data is far safer than it would be on local hard drives. As enterprise becomes ever more data-centred in the developed world the importance of this cannot be underestimated.

Cloud Computing

Remote working

Aside from driving down the cost of high-end IT tools, the next most obvious consequence of the cloud is in remote working.

As work increasingly revolves around digital information – emails, spreadsheets, documents etc. the ability to work becomes correspondingly focused on access to and ability to manipulate this information. Where once the office was the central hub for all the resources required for business now anywhere with an internet connection is.

Making not just the data, but the software available online makes the office redundant for anything that doesn’t involve speaking to other people face to face.

It’s unlikely the office will completely disappear – the social isolation of working from home is not for everyone. But the cloud will very likely contribute to a marked rise in flexible working.


Of course, the most interesting aspect of the cloud is the scope for collaboration. For example, tools that allow the simultaneous editing of the same document mean that people no longer have to wait for their colleague to be finished with something before working on it – the software can ensure everyone is working on the most recent version of the document, or even allow real-time collaborative editing.

This applies just as much across borders as it does in the office, opening up real scope for even small businesses to encourage international collaboration amongst employees and freelancers. Recent studies have shown the benefits of collaboration to the generation of new ideas, and any technology that makes it easier will surely eventually be credited with enormous productivity and innovation boosts.
Cloud technology is still relatively new. It wouldn’t be a shock to look back at our current uses of it as quaint. 10 years from now workplaces may not look much different, but our working practices will almost certainly be a lifetime away from our current ones.

About Nikhil P Naik

Nikhil Naik has a Master's Degree in Information Systems, and is currently working as a Software Engineer at Microsoft. He also loves playing cricket, listening to music, and traveling. Twitter Handle - @buzz_nikhil.

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