Cloud computing is having a significant impact on organisations' business models around the world, it has been claimed.
Mike Goodenough, global director of field engineering at Savvis, believes the speed at which hosted services are transforming business operations and efficiencies has accelerated in the past few years
Writing for Forbes, he noted that the extent of the transformation depends on how each business operates and its specific needs.
However, Mr Goodenough claimed that a number of major trends have emerged.
"Employees are one of the main driving forces behind many changes related to cloud computing within the business environment," he stated. "[They] have families, want to work from home or even use devices with which they are most comfortable."
Mr Goodenough said that cloud computing has made it easier for remote employees to enjoy all of the benefits of working in an office while they are working from home or on the move.
He claimed that many firms are seeing the benefits of allowing employees to work remotely - with increased productivity a key advantage.
Staff are more efficient and willing to work longer hours because they have the privilege and flexibility of working remotely, the expert suggested.
"For employees that do decide to come into the office, many want to bring their own devices because they prefer or are more familiar with them," he told the news provider.
As such, cloud computing is accelerating the bring your own device trend, Mr Goodenough claimed, since employees have the freedom to 'dial in' to corporate networks from laptops, smartphones and tablets.
He argued that cloud computing has "unburdened" businesses from the traditional IT business model, giving them a wider range of infrastructure options.
"In the past, the business/IT model was very straightforward - businesses hired IT professionals to run their computer hardware and software. The IT staff had to forecast business needs as far out as five or ten years, and make purchases accordingly," Mr Goodenough said.
But in the cloud age, the role of the IT department is changing.
"With cloud computing, you never have to worry about running out of storage or server capacity, resulting in major cost savings," the expert told Forbes.
"While you still need to forecast the amount of storage or server capacity that you may need, you no longer have to be overly concerned about the capital expense of scaling up your needs if you do require more space or capacity."
He explained that it is far less expensive and less of a hassle to increase cloud storage and cloud server needs than on-site infrastructure.
Businesses still need IT for many functions, but cloud computing may actually result in a reduced requirement for dedicated technology personnel, since many of their duties will be outsourced off-site.
Find out more about Microsoft's range of cloud services and how they can help your organisation drive growth and efficiencies.
Posted by Alex Boardman