Dr Steven Turner, VP of IT optimisation consultancy Intergence, has outlined how using cloud services benefits mobile workers and those operating virtual offices that traditionally have to rely on high speed broadband links to their corporate data centres for connectivity.
Dr Turner explained: Cloud computing enables businesses to make use of software and services as and when they need them, requiring only an Internet connection and a web browser, going some way towards solving the problems of resourcing and collaboration. One of the largest challenges of running a small business is trying to predict what services will be needed in the future if circumstances suddenly change; for example, if the company expands quickly, then more employees and resources will be required to support and enable the business to perform optimally. However, investing too much, too soon could also be potentially disastrous.
Secondly, 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. Cloud computing allows people to build a geographically diverse team that works together with all the benefits of improved productivity and better communication. A good example of a popular cloud-based service is Google Documents which allows businesses to create and manage documents online. Some users probably dont even realise they are using the cloud when accessing services they use on a daily basis.
Cloud based services can improve the remote worker experience in the following ways:
- Easy-to-access resources anywhere without specialist software; only requiring a standard web browser.
- Secure access to corporate resources, ensuring the user has access to only the systems and services for which they are authorised.
- Flexible computing power which can grow with the business needs, guaranteeing the infrastructure is sized for the demands of the users.
- Greater available bandwidth to users than would be feasible for an organisation to provide itself.
- Higher application performance via cloud hosting regions which are local to the user, hence reducing latency.
Dr Turner concluded: Traditional remote access is not flexible enough to support business growth and can often suffer from congestion and latency during periods of heavy use. To help ease the burden on the business, remote employees should be able to take advantage of cloud services which provide users with virtually unlimited computing power, whilst establishing a much more flexible infrastructure that can grow with the business requirements.
Intergence has recently announced a series of IT Optimisation health check seminars being held in Leeds, London and Edinburgh during May 2012. The health check seminars will explain how to optimise and fine tune an organisations infrastructure to best take advantage of cloud technology.