Here’s what a cloud-based workforce might look like

The founder of the Cloud Best Practices Network discusses the need for a roadmap that will generate more home-grown products and services

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The ability to achieve strategic improvements through technology is now so potent in this cloud age that CIOs are presented with a unique opportunity to advance as far as CEO.

Principally, the main benefit of cloud computing is not cost-savings, instead it is how it can enable accelerated innovation, like bringing new products to market faster.

It’s also very important to understand the surrounding strategic drivers of these technology trends, and how one enables the other.

For example, consider the scenario of ‘Workplace-as-a-Service,’ that might feature the use of cloud virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Citrix uses the term Workshifting to describe the fluid movement of your workspace (projects, documents etc.) across the multiple modes and devices you have: Laptops, smartphones, tablets, etc. The shift also involves changes as you travel between networks: Cell, Wi-Fi, home broadband etc.

Certainly this is an important technological capability, but even more so when you consider the broader global shifts of changing workforce cultures and organizational models. Management gurus in this area such as Thomas Malone have described the “Future of Work,” where organizations will evolve from the very rigid “command and control” hierarchies we know of modern corporations today to much more fluid, self-organizing networks.

Another expert, Charles Handy, described a similar future of “Portfolio Working,” where these groups will be clusters of self-employed freelancers, and this is a work mode we can easily imagine is much more attractive to the so-called Millennial generation, and so critically important to any strategic HR considerations.

Government in particular is facing this type of workforce challenge, and in this research the Public Policy Forum identified the connection between these new technology modes and this evolution of employment and how the public sector should harness them to address these challenges.

Coming next – Cloud, IPv6 and the Canada Cloud Roadmap

A successful approach to these new cloud services such cloud VDI, is what we are designing via our R&D innovation program the “Canada Cloud Roadmap”, a product development roadmap for new cloud solutions home-grown here in Canada.

This roadmap is the central asset to our goal of the Canada Cloud Network to establish Canada as a world leader in the field, and this is also key to CIOs looking to tap into more cloud-powered innovation. It’s based on the ideas described by the AT&T CIO for creating his ‘innovation ecosystem’, and we can enable other CIOs to do the same.

As Allstream’s own Gary Davenport describes in his latest expertIP post, picking the right vendor partners who are themselves focused on innovation is key, and via our supplier partners you can add ideas and inputs to the roadmap as well as learning about the products it develops. It’s a Canadian team effort!

Understand the full implications of these technology shifts by downloading ‘A Look Into The Cloud: Trends, Adoption and the Importance of the Network.


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