Going beyond the face value benefits of Cloud Computing: Why it is more than just technology improvements and cost stability.

Cloud Computing: Ways of Working and Cultural Benefits

Cloud computing is everywhere – with private companies, small business and even Federal Government Departments embracing cloud computing. Its adoption is steadily growing and organisations that are embracing cloud computing are reaping the many benefits that it offers. On paper, cloud computing results in technology improvements, greater efficiency and cost stability. But some of the most powerful benefits go far beyond numbers on a page.

Some of the most powerful benefits that cloud computing provide organisations are on a deeper people centric level – going to the very core of an organisation affecting behaviour, culture, performance, ways of working and organisation perception. 

We are going to explore these benefits in a series of blog posts – focusing first on ways of working and cultural benefits, going on to performance and perception and finally rounding out this blog series by looking at the traditional benefits of cloud.

Ways of working
One of the most significant changes that organisations face in the move to cloud is entirely new ways of working. Cloud computing unlocks a world of possibilities that were never available before. Mobility, flexibility and collaboration are all enhanced with the use of cloud computing.

Imagine an office where staff are no longer confined to a PC at a desk, instead they are able to be use BYOD technology supported by cloud hosted software to work from anywhere, at any time. No more bringing pen and paper to meetings, wasting time transcribing hand-written notes for meeting minutes. No longer do people use the old-fashioned, outdated assumption of ‘well if they are not at their desk, then they clearly aren’t working’.

Cloud computing opens up a whole new realm of ways of working. People can be fully connected, with complete functionality from all corners of the globe. The possibilities of this are endless. The pool of talent that organisations can draw from is greatly increased, as cloud computing means geographic location and time zone are no longer restrictions. Being face to face is no longer a requirement of meetings, virtual meetings can now be the new norm. Cloud computing increases flexibility in the workplace which boosts staff morale, knowing that they fully supported in their roles no matter their geographic location or time difference.

The best part of new ways of working that cloud provides to organisations? There are still so many unknown benefits out there that are yet to be realised. And whilst this might be difficult for those resistant to cloud to understand, this is one of the greatest advantages to an organisation. Cloud computing provides the seeds for growth and can change the way your organisation works in ways that you could never have predicted.

Cultural benefits
Speaking of cloud resistance and outdated ways of working and how cloud computing helps to overcome these, cloud computing also greatly affects the culture of organisations. ‘Yeah. Sure it does…’ we hear you say. How can a technology platform change the very culture of an organisation? Well it’s all about behaviour.

It’s about addressing the ‘but we’ve always done it this way’ culture. You know they one we are talking about. The one where the prevailing attitude is that the way things are done now is the best and only way to do it. Even if this way of working was old news 10 years ago, people are always going to comfortable with what they know and will be a little (or a lot) resistant to change.

Ok so how does cloud computing tackle this behaviour and change the overall culture of an organisation? It’s not as simple as saying ‘well here’s the cloud, off you go’. It’s deeper than that. It’s about empowering staff, giving them the confidence and support to innovate and challenge the status quo. It’s about shifting away from BAU and keeping the lights on towards a workplace filled with modern, innovative practices.

Removing blockers such as physical hardware maintenance, old technology that cannot keep up with the demands of the business, outdated tools and workflows and replacing them with fast, modern technology and tools that are constantly evolving and growing with your business help change the culture of an organisation.

This new technology doesn’t just affect IT staff. Think of someone working in policy. They want to be working as efficiently and collaboratively as possible. They shouldn’t have to worry about their mailbox constantly getting full and having to clean it up weekly. They shouldn’t have to wait for someone to exit out of a document before they can edit it. And they shouldn’t have to be at their desk to receive an email when what they really want is instant communication on the go.

With cloud computing, this policy officer no longer wastes time on archiving their mailbox weekly, it’s cloud based now and offers them far greater storage than they’ve ever had on premise. They can work on a document at the same time as their colleague, increasing the efficiency of the whole team. And now that they are fully connected to the cloud, they don’t have to walk back to their desk to read an email, instead they can get it instantly on their phone or laptop. This staff member doesn’t care that the office tool that they are using is taking advantage of parallelised computing and vertical scaling (nor should they care). This staff member only cares that their day is far more efficient and that they have the option of using new tools and working in a completely different manner.

Cloud computing changes the culture of staff in a variety of ways, things such as:

  1. Their everyday actions will be altered by cloud technology
  2. The way they go about work will change
  3. The tools that they use for their job will be different
  4. Work flows will change

Staff will need to open to change and embrace new and different technology for cloud to be a success in an organisation. Senior management must support staff in this change, because as we mentioned before, change doesn’t come easy to many people. Adopting cloud might be a challenge to some as it will affect the way that people do their everyday job. However, with the right support and change management plans in place, the culture shift that the organisation will face will be a positive one.

Want to know more?
Get in touch with the team here at Strategic Reform.