The cloud is here to stay

The future of work is evolving at a rapid pace, and flexibility is at the forefront of the change. We’re talking about the ability to work anywhere, anytime, and from any device because technology enables a secure, integrated, and efficient way to work—not simply because company policy allows for flexibility in schedule or location.

True flexibility enables collaboration, removes workflow roadblocks, and transforms how we interact with our physical environments, both in-office and elsewhere. The result is a seamless, intuitive way to work that increases productivity and engagement without compromise.

The findings from our recent survey with Wakefield Research confirm this reality: while about a quarter (27%) of office professionals without a flexible work environment are concerned that implementing one would decrease productivity, half of those (50%) who do work in a flexible work environment note it has increased productivity. In addition, 87% of office professionals whose company has a flexible work environment report their company has experienced positive outcomes from the model.

So, why aren’t all businesses eager to jump on board?

Delivering this kind of flexibility presents a barrier of new security and management challenges that many employers aren’t equipped to scale. They need new strategies to secure and manage their technology infrastructure, meet employee expectations, and remain competitive. When the right technology is in place, flexible work environments don’t just succeed—they thrive.

That’s where cloud-based apps come in.

While the benefits of the embracing a hybrid cloud environment for your business drives positive outcomes for your organization, it can be a daunting task of knowing where to start.

Here are some key steps/considerations to take as you begin your journey to the cloud:

  1. Create a strategy that spans traditional desktop applications, Web/SaaS applications, and mobile applications. Your end-users want to focus on tasks, not just technology.  How you leverage single sign-on and multi-factor authorization are key to ease of use, as well as security.
  2. Think mobile first. All applications are mobile applications. Increasingly, work is done on mobile devices and even traditional “desktop” applications are being accessed more on laptops and tablets than actual desktop computers.
  3. Modern office workers expect their IT environment to adapt to them. It needs to detect context, learn preferences, and push the most critical tasks to the forefront.
  4. Delivering applications from the cloud increases your IT agility and helps ensure that they can be accessed from the office, as well as on the road.
  5. Look for solutions that do not lock your applications to a single infrastructure provider.  You want the freedom to choose between Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) providers or to use hybrid cloud environments that leverage existing investments.

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