As technology advances further and further into the ‘green’, environmentally conscious and more immediate future, more and more small businesses are ditching paper and moving to the Cloud.
Worldwide there are 10,000 baby boomers a day who are retiring. Generation X is moving into a phase in which they are starting to look towards their own retirement and are planning for the future. Meanwhile, the generation that is beginning to show its talent in the workplace is Generation Y, a generation that has grown up immersed in the world of rapidly evolving technology and a fully fledged version of the internet that allows them to do pretty much everything from home including university, clothes shopping and socialising.
The next logical step for Generation Y is telecommuting. As Generation X begins to wind down, they are less and less likely to want to make the trek into the office on a daily basis. They are going to prefer telecommuting as well.
How will these generations do all of this? They are going to rely on the Cloud. Already, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, one third of small businesses are taking up the Cloud based option. That same ABS data shows that four in five Australian businesses with internet access use it for online banking, invoicing and payments, among other financial activities.
Xero, an online accounting software company, is evidence of the sharp increase in demand for access to the Cloud, with their customer numbers almost doubling in Australia in the past 12 months. More than 147,000 businesses now use the software. That number is only going to increase with the infiltration of Generation Y into the job market.
Companies like Xero, MYOB, Reckon etc are just a few examples of businesses facilitating flexible work arrangements. The market is slowly saturating with programs and tools that are geared towards making the business and global environment more flexible and easier to access from home, a café, a hotel, the beach … from just about anywhere you want.
We see this in programs like Skype which allow easy communication from any point on the planet with a wi-fi or data connection. Skype has emerged as a tool not only for individuals to use to connect with travelling friends and family, for example, but for use by businesses for the purpose of meeting with colleagues or clients who live or work overseas or who happen to not be available personally at that particular time. Skype is breaking down barriers for business by opening up an easy channel of globalised communication.
Apple is another company that has geared all of its software towards total connectivity wherever you are, whatever device you’re using, whenever you want. Unless you have been living under a rock, you would have heard about the launch of Apple’s new suite of iPhones; the iPhone 6 and 6 plus with software that lives in the actual device; iOS 8. It is one of the most ground-breaking pieces of software ever released.
Why? Because it allows for unrivalled connectivity between your Apple devices.
Coinciding with the release of iOS 8 is the anticipated release of Yosemite, the Apple upgrade for Mac. With these two pieces of software installed on all your apple devices, your phone becomes your laptop, your laptop becomes your phone, your iPad becomes your phone or your laptop, iCloud across all of your devices syncs all your documents to the Cloud, allowing you to access your presentations, documents etc all from the Cloud.
Google (Android) and Windows are beginning to follow suit, with Windows Phone syncing to the Windows Surface Tablet via your Windows Outlook cloud based account. Google has the syndication of one account for a million different purposes technology. The point is that there is a very noticeable shift in the way software is being engineered to make our lives, particularly our working lives easier as well as wire and office free.
Big corporations and tools like Skype are facilitating a shift in the market towards Cloud based everything. It will and already is beginning to change not only the way we work, but the way we live. It is only a matter of time before working environments will be completely flexible, with telecommuting the norm.
It goes without saying that businesses need to at least begin thinking about a move to the Cloud. Talk to us today about how we can assist.