You’re connected to it through your cell phone, work laptop, car and more. Already, you use it to store personal photos, stream your music library and connect with people around the world. Cloud computing is everywhere—quite literally—and it has already completely changed the way collaboration in the workplace happens.
But what exactly is the cloud? And how, more specifically, has it transformed the business landscape?
At a conceptual level, the cloud delivers storage, databases, software and more via the internet, meaning that business information can be securely stored on off-site systems instead of outmoded local hard drives. Because Information Technology resources are kept and maintained through the world-wide-web, cloud users typically enjoy faster load speeds, ease of scalability, simpler collaboration, and greater flexibility with the business tools they need.
The cloud offers a multitude of benefits for both businesses and the people they employ—from lower costs for IT management to stronger online security against cyber attacks—but perhaps none is more significant than the cloud’s impact on employee productivity, transparency, and collaboration. By using this piece of technology to increase worker efficiency, businesses are able to increase their output and reduce resource expenditures—all without a decrease in the quality of their products or services.
Here are just a few of the ways that cloud computing has fostered a more productive workforce.
Reduced technical difficulties
How much time do you spend finicking with faulty technology at work? If you’re anything like the average employee, who spends over 90 hours of work time per year solving IT-related issues, outdated technology has a tendency to work against you more often than it does for you, and this can of course significantly impede upon your daily workflow.
Fortunately, cloud computing helps alleviate many of the IT problems your organization may experience. Since the cloud stores your business tools and information over the internet, your company won’t have to worry about upkeeping servers and other hardware needed to accomplish your work.
Cloud servers, furthermore, are designed to serve the needs of a large number of people collaborating in the workplace. That’s why the cloud will allow you to access your information more quickly and with less energy while spending less time and fewer resources on IT management.
Especially for larger applications, software updates are another source of headaches that can eat up a significant portion of company time, as each employee may need to download their own copy of the new version to their computers. Software hosted through the cloud, alternatively, is managed and updated by the software providers themselves, meaning that you’ll no longer have to worry about installing them on your own.
Improved connections with team members
Improvements in communication are implicit in a great work environment, both inside and outside of your organization. In any business sphere, you’ll find ongoing conversations on the intersection between technology and communication— is email helpful or hindering when it comes to team productivity? Does mobile access to email and video conferencing make it difficult for employees to log off after hours? Is texting a professional channel for discussing ideas with coworkers? And of course, does cloud computing make employee connectivity and communication more efficient?
Many new communication tools in the market today harness digital collaboration to help alleviate the pressures that poor communication can have on work teams. One great example is cloud customer relationship management (CRM) software. Many companies may already have CRMs to help their sales and marketing teams secure new customers and manage their existing base, but cloud computing has helped this tool become a powerful resource for the digital workplace as well. Cloud CRMs offer greater mobility, which means that your door-to-door sales teams can easily access the information they need through their work cell or tablet.
While cloud computing has opened up entirely new channels for communication, it’s revitalized more traditional communication services as well. By hosting phones through IP—which supply voice communication over the internet—businesses can eliminate the need for desk phone infrastructures, instead of routing phone calls through computers or other internet-connected devices. Businesses of all sizes are researching solutions that this tool, called Voice over IP, provides to further unify their workforce and boost productivity.
Greater workplace flexibility
Today’s workforce is witnessing one of the most significant shifts in corporate culture since the beginning of the traditional 9-to-5 workweek, and this can largely be attributed to the cloud. Flexible work solutions, such as working from home or adjusting work hours, are no longer out of the ordinary, as many companies that have migrated to the cloud already offer these benefits to their employees.
If online collaboration tools hosted through cloud computing can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection, then it makes sense that employees would no longer have to collaborate on-site to host brainstorming sessions. Employees, freelancers, and consultants around the world now have the option of working remotely with those in the office, which ensures you will have the best talent available at hand discussing ideas.
It may seem counterintuitive to some, but by granting employees greater control of their personal and work schedules, many employers witness a significant upsurge in the number of tasks that flex-teams complete. An article on the effects of flexible work reports that over 20% of workers surveyed found that they were much more productive in a collaborative workplace, after switching to a flexible schedule, and those who take advantage of flexible work typically use less paid time off throughout the year.
For employers, offering the correct tools, innovative workplaces can help your recruiting teams attract talent with the best skill sets with appropriate strengths and weaknesses and reduce office space (thereby lowering monthly rent costs and increasing remote workers), along with better employee engagement.
Better management of products and projects
Today’s tech market features an array of cloud-friendly solutions to facilitate a digitally transformed business model. If your business already uses a standardized method for operations, you know that both product and project management are essential functions to ensure that your teams properly execute tasks and deliver the best product.
However, by migrating these systems to a cloud-based solution, you’ll help streamline processes and optimize your productivity.
Tools for product management that integrate with the cloud have helped organizations become more productive in the ways that they develop, market and sell their products to the intended consumer. Successful product management requires acquiring and processing large amounts of data relating to products variants, dimensions, and other specifications. The cloud creates a secure space to store this data and report on it with company-wide access.
Project management, similarly, benefits from the cloud thanks to the ease of accessibility that cloud computing provides. Project managers ensure that tasks and objects that are necessary to deliver products to consumers are successfully communicated and acted upon by team members. And since the cloud allows for uniform task updates, your teams will always be up-to-date on the newest activities and tasks needed to deliver to your customers.
There are acute differences between these two roles, which is why investing in a tool that can help perform both responsibilities can make all the difference in your company’s productivity. Tools, such as ClickUp, which features time-tracking and collaboration capabilities, help your business allocate the right resources to the right projects.
Author: Michaela Triglia