Contrary to the advice offered to me by my old school-master, now is the time to put my head in the clouds. Cloud computing is coming and will revolutionise the way and where of our work. From everything I’ve read, and recently been exposed to, cloud computing IS the next wave in technological change for the workplace.
Simply put, cloud computing is about tapping information and processing resources stored somewhere else – the “cloud” – using the Internet. The cloud can provide access anywhere, anytime accelerating an already established trend toward working outside the traditional office. Furthermore, most cloud services are scalable, enabling a pay-as-you-go system for users – meaning that users with a sudden need for more capacity can simply increase the level of their “cloud” instead of investing through the expansion of in-house data centres.
As well as the obvious cost benefits for corporate occupiers, this potentially represents a step change in corporate real estate specification and sustainability. For example, with cloud models, data centre space and energy requirements, especially for mission-critical services such as additional cooling and backup power, should shrink dramatically.
By enhancing worker and workplace mobility programmes, cloud computing can help reduce a company’s occupancy footprint and therefore reduce associated costs. In an environment where Corporate Real Estate (CRE) professionals are charged with achieving ever-more challenging cost saving targets, this may prove to be one cloud that brings a ray of sunshine.