We live in the digital age, and like the industrial age before it, it is a time of evolution and revolution as technology changes our world forever. It is quite easy to get complacent about the advances in technology, because there are so many happening at such speed all around us.
This is even more true for the millennial generation who have grown up in the digital age; a generation that expects everything to be touch screen, to be smart, to be connected.
We find ourselves in the same situation as the fish, who when asked how the water is, replies 'What water?' So, perhaps it is time to really study the water, in particular how technology is changing the way we work.
We might not have achieved the paperless office yet but our work lives have shifted dramatically to be more flatter in structure, more changeable, more collaborative and more global. So what does this mean for business and how can they stay agile and relevant in the connected workplace?
Advances in technology, in particular mobile devices and the cloud, have changed the way we live and work.The Internet enabled us to write to people instantaneously, and the cloud has allowed us to share large documents and folders with people almost immediately wherever they are in the world.
Having grown up with Facebook and YouTube, millennials are accustomed to sharing videos, photos, posts, recommendations and tweets.
They use multiple channels to get peer advice, to network or for resourcing their own personal development. Connectivity to them is a given, and they expect to be able to work in the same way they have studied as both students and consumers.
Companies need to adapt their working environments for the modern, connected world in order to empower the new wave of entrepreneurial talent.
It is not just the millennials who expect their work to be more flexible. We all now expect to be able to work in environments that have shifted from the rigid hierarchical structure that suited the industrial age, to more diverse models where teams work collaboratively without constraints of geography or physical location.
The advantage of these trends for the company, is that the organisation can be more agile, more flexible and more productive.
We no longer expect or want a job for life either. More and more of us have CV portfolios that show a wide variety of experience and skills, all of which might previously have made us look uncommitted and unfocussed, but now reflect how agile, adaptable and ready for changes in our chosen career we have become.
Without mobile and cloud technologies these advances in our working lives would not have occurred. The technology facilitating our ability to collaborate seamlessly and without boundaries has led to the changes in our modern offices, and outside of it.
Another phenomenon of the cloud has been the development of what is known as the 'human cloud'. These are people, from all around the world, who offer 'virtual' services such as translation, data entry and administration. You could be in the UK and using network of resources from anywhere else in the world.
The implications of this global freelancer database on both the growth in entrepreneurs and start ups and the increase of options for women looking to return to work is still to be quantified but without cloud this whole concept would be unimaginable.
Technology has made the world smaller, but the impact is huge. Thanks to the Internet everyone can now be global. They can reach audiences they couldn’t before, across the globe and across a variety of mediums.
However, the use of cloud services in the workplace is without risk. Achieving a collaborative and connected workforce presents its own challenges. If companies fail to establish a secure way for users to sync and share files from mobile devices, then unsanctioned use of public cloud services as a way around the cumbersome corporate file system is likely to put data at risk.
Traditional storage systems don’t empower the mobile workforce but public cloud services simply aren’t an option that most companies want to integrate which is leading to the growing adoption of private cloud solutions that can offer similar features without the risks.
The new world is not all collaboration and flexibility, social media and online learning. Businesses might want to attract high calibre talent, but they also have the core needs of the business to attend to.
It is important for organisations to move beyond traditional file storage systems that fail to deliver users the easy access and file sharing features that are essential for today’s connected workforce.
Companies must adopt more user-centric approaches if IT is to meet this growing expectation from users for a more flexible and freer workplace. The safest way is through a privately owned cloud device that guarantees total control and privacy over your data whilst allowing the modern employee to work, not just from home but to work from anywhere.
Sourced from Geraldine Osman, VP International Marketing, Nexsan