Should Information Technologies and Internet Availability Make Work From Home the Norm?

Do you think with the skill set you have and the digital tools that are available to you, you can rather work from home other than going to office, working 9-5? How about there being a balance between the two? Can working from home gradually become the norm?

In my opinion if you are an IT person, there should be some flexibility in working 9-5 regularly at the office. The authorities involved should seriously give it a thought. Almost everybody nowadays owns a laptop and having internet availability and digital tools in hand, they can work anytime in the comfort of their home rather than following a strict 9-5 schedule.

Although working from home is the modern approach, many IT firms still make it a point to work regularly in the office. So I think there can be some balance between the two options. For instance, working from home thrice a week and going to office twice a week would be a good schedule for work. I think productivity is more this way because the individual gets a lot of rest, sleep and home cooked food which gives them the ability to work efficiently with renewed vigor and energy.

The less the work pressure in the morning about getting dressed, setting for office by car through the traffic jam to be on time, the better the individual is going to feel. He gets more freedom, enjoys quality family time and also works comfortably from home this way.

The person can also, in a relaxed way, sign up for online courses and amplify his expertise if he does not have to spend all five days at the office. That way he achieves greater skill set which will be good for his company because the person is now in a better position to tackle harder and longer projects, beating all the odds.

A company does need skilled and competent employees. If by staying and working from home, employees can be of greater service, the company has nothing to lose but rather to gain a lot. There can be deadlines for projects in the usual way – the only difference is that the employees get their work done by spending more time at home, gotcha?

There can be meetings and presentations on the two office days that I have suggested earlier. So the employees are on track; they know how many milestones they have already covered and how many more they have to carry on.

There can be seminars, birthday celebrations, festive dinners and other get-together parties in the office in the usual way. None of these social networking has to stop. The only point I am making here is that the employees are happier and more comfortable in their shoes by getting some liberty, working more time from the luxury of their sweet homes.

Cloud Computing Is Changing Information Technology and Internet Marketing

You have already used a form of cloud computing if you have an email account with a Web-based email service such as Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, and Hotmail. The software and storage for your account lies on the service’s cloud servers, not on your own computer. Some experts are saying that the desktop PC will soon become obsolete and all that will be needed to do cloud computing in the near future, is to have a monitor connected to an ISP and have the appropriate apps on a smart phone.

The term “cloud” is a fitting metaphor for this emerging use of the Internet… it is infinitely large, somewhere out there in the sky, and all fuzzy around the edges. Cloud computing is. more or less. an umbrella term used to describe a number of different trends; all of them involve the Internet and how computers are used. Most computer experts agree that computing activity and capability will be greatly extended well beyond current levels, and it will completely change how businesses and individuals use the computer.

Industry experts are quite sure that cloud computing will change the future of IT forever, but there is still a lot of speculation on how it will exactly unfold. All the major players are scrambling to get in front of the wave; companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Yahoo, AT&T, Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, IBM, Intel, Oracle, Unisys, Cognizant, GE, and hundreds more. Even in the face of all this anticipation and excitement, there are a lot of IT professionals who are still quite unsure what it is exactly. They are not sure whether safety and privacy issues can be handled properly, or what kind of impact it will have on their jobs.

Cloud computing generally offers customers more services for less cost; that is the basic advantage and promise. Customers must entrust their personal and business data to remote services, but in exchange, they get to access more software and a broader range of services than they could normally afford otherwise. Cloud customers become members, or subscribers, to cloud service providers at very reasonable fees, and are able to access vast libraries of resources as they need to, and store all their files remotely for safe keeping. The suppliers do all the heavy lifting and supply the infrastructure for the service or software; the customers enjoy all the benefits without having to pay for any of the development costs. All the customers pay for is their monthly use of services, similar to how customers now pay their monthly fees to a utility or telephone company who owns all the wires, poles, and power stations.

Accordingly, some vendors and analysts have defined cloud computing as “utility computing”, where data centers are similar to power stations. What power stations did for the use of electricity, data centers are now being constructed to provide virtual servers available to the client base over the Internet. Others have defined it saying that anything digital that is consumed outside the firewall of their personal work stations is “in the cloud”. As access to electricity became more available to customers, it spawned all sorts of new inventions to use it. Similarly, it is anticipated there will be an incredible amount of new products and services created for cloud users as the industry develops.

Cloud computing offers a variety of types of services: infrastructure, platform, software, storage, security, data, test environment, desktop, application program interface (API), and hundreds more. For example, customers using software as a service will usually rent the software applications and databases. The cloud providers own and manage the platforms and infrastructure on which the applications run, similarly to how web-hosting is now provided to individual users. Subscribers access cloud-based applications via a web browser, or light-weight mobile or desktop application. The cloud service provider also provides the data center and server for storing their data in a remote location from the client’s computer; which increases security, and reduces the need for a large IT staff. Developers claim that cloud computing allows entrepreneurs to get their applications up and running much faster than conventional means, with less maintenance and improved manageability. It also enables companies and individuals to adjust resources more rapidly to meet unpredictable and fluctuating business demands by accessing network IT consultants and support technicians.

There is a significant workload shift offered by cloud computing as well. Local network computers don’t have to do all the work when it comes to running applications. The network of computers that comprise the cloud, or the data center, handle all the applications instead. Software and hardware demands on the customer’s side, therefore, decrease substantially. The only software the user really needs to run on his personal computer is the cloud computing systems interface software, which could be any commercially available conventional browser. The cloud’s network would take care of all the rest online.

Right now, the market is standing on the curb, watching all the cloud options unfold like a parade just rounding a street corner. There is some apprehension about security because companies will have to trust the provider to store their data remotely and safely, and to protect it from hackers, piracy, viruses, etc. There is also a slight apprehension about being “held hostage” by the cloud provider once a company has all their data on their servers; and not just in the service rates, but for upgrades and storage expansion as well. Users tend to be a “captive audience”, and although they could switch cloud computing providers if things got problematic, The biggest fear is loss of control of proprietary information and technological downtime due to problems in the network infrastructure between the user and the data center. What would happen if a solar flare impaired not just a data center, but also the satellite and microwave transmission system to the end-user? Without a dedicated backup system in place, entire companies could be vulnerable to situations outside their direct control that could put them out of business.

For Internet Marketers, cloud computing is changing both the means and content of what is being marketed. Marketing suppliers and organizations are being forced to launch new products and services that change the way their markets manage their computing assets.

Marketers now have access to new technology tools using a vast array of cloud applications, which enable them to transform their marketing campaigns using Web-based platforms and infrastructure. Internet marketers are always looking for an edge to make more sales, and the race is on to be the first ones to adapt to cloud computing because it saves time and money. The more the client base converts to cloud computing, the more the pressure will be on marketers to become more efficient, innovative, and to do more with less. People lose their jobs and income quickly when they can’t produce results, so those who can get the job done and spend less money doing it will survive.

However, people and businesses fear change and like to stay on familiar ground, and they will do so until forced to make the transition. This is precisely where we are in the cloud revolution… waiting to take the first step… and while we are waiting, the giant corporations are developing the gadgets, gimmicks, and business models that will forever change the way we use computers.