Cloud workforce- Cloud computing, fueled by Internet of Things (IoT), has given rise to a new era of real estate possibilities for Asia Pacific companies and their workforces. By allowing firms to store and process virtually limitless amounts of data remotely, the cloud is enabling what Colliers International terms the Internet of the Workplace (IoW) – a digitally integrated enterprise architecture that exists in the virtual as well as the physical realm, connecting employees and allowing them to collaborate regardless of location.
“Applying the IoW gives enterprises the ability to ‘cloud their workforce’ — adopting decentralised structures that mirror the cloud computing environment, based around multiple remote teams that can be rapidly combined or scaled as needed, rather than a large central office,” said Rob Wilkinson, Associate Director, Corporate Solutions APAC, Colliers International. “This can make companies more agile and cost-effective, with positive impacts for employee well-being and productivity.”
Colliers recently leased its latest insights report “Flex, Core and the Cloud: A Blueprint for the Future Asia Pacific Workplace.” The report, based on field research and interviews with some of the world’s leading organisations in the technology, financial services and FMCG industries, addresses the adoption of cloud technology in companies’ workforce models and broader implications for productivity and employee well-being.
Like any transformation, clouding the workforce can prove disruptive for enterprises and the commercial real estate industry, forcing landlords and occupiers to adapt to new demands. Through careful planning and the right approaches companies can navigate this disruption while capturing the benefits of the cloud.
“Some companies are investing in equipment such as interactive whiteboards, video-conferencing facilities and chat platforms, and making changes to the physical space such as ‘decoupling’ employees from permanent desks in a move towards Activity Based Working (ABW), utilising flexible workspace in a flex and core model, or developing open-plan offices to foster spontaneity and collaboration across teams,” added Wilkinson.
Four stages on the IoW curve
– Core operations/employees concentrated in a central location
– Data/IT services stored, managed and delivered via in-house physical infrastructure
– Employees have dedicated workspaces and rarely or never shift teams or locations
– Key administrative functions and critical technology infrastructure based in a central location
– Employees connected, and some data/IT services delivered via public or private cloud
– Employees occasionally work on different teams or at different locations; enterprise provides limited IoT infrastructure to support occasional virtual teams