This is the second in a series of four posts about "Super Powers of the Cloud," focusing on individual employees.
Today's tech savvy workforce demands the powers of connectivity and mobility. And cloud computing is a way to give them the superhero-like powers they seek, whether they’re selling in Sochi or expensing client dinners on the go from Minnesota.
Today, it is not beyond your employees’ scope to be super anytime from anywhere.
Despite some speculation a few years ago, companies are now diving head-first into the cloud. As writer Derrick Wlodarz notes on BetaNews, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer received a lot of criticism when they went the cloud route. But today, Microsoft's Office 365 provides cloud services that have been utilized by 37% of organizations, according to a recent survey.
With the future pointing to a cloud-filled forecast, many employees expect and want cloud capabilities. Businesses can’t afford to scare away employees who may be put off by outdated technology. Employees want tech powers!
Here are four types of super powers today’s employees get from cloud computing:
The power to produce from anywhere
With the cloud, employees can carry the entire office in their backpack and most tasks can be achieved by simply plucking a smartphone from a pocket. The 40-hour work week – for the most part – is a thing of the past. In fact, normal business hours don’t apply to many organizations anymore as employees are free to work when it makes sense for them (as long as they’re productive, of course).
Tying productivity to a physical location is like permanently strapping flight-capable employees to the ground.
The power to collaborate more effectively with team members
The cloud gives employees real-time access to always up-to-date information. It also lets employees come together in a collaborative setting from all corners of the earth. Meetings are less likely to be rescheduled, more gets accomplished and workflows are optimized. For example, mobile expense management via the Concur app syncs workflows with real-time notifications and data insights from the c-level to the end user.
The power to be a productivity master
Tech savvy employees are always looking for new “hacks.” If a process can be done more efficiently, they want to learn how to do it. Web-based and mobile apps present real-time portals to all the information an employee could possibly need to excel, and more. Conversely, paper-based, on-premise solutions and processes are now viewed by most employees as “restrictive” because they can’t tap into the flexible, integrated capabilities that create efficiencies.
Take mobile expense management, for example. There’s no need to file away paper receipts, organize them later and attach them to a printed expense report form when you can simply snap photos on the go and automatically upload them to the appropriate expense report line item, which also eliminates the need to manually enter accounting codes, categories, etc.
Credit card charges, along with e-receipts from hotels, airlines and many other vendors can be imported automatically, saving loads of time and eliminating data entry errors. Mobile expense management capabilities can shave over an hour of tedious expense-related tasks from a single business trip. What employee doesn’t want that?
Not only does this save heaps of time for employees, it also saves the company money. According to The Aberdeen Group’s Expense Management for a New Decade report, the cost for a single expense report using outdated manual processes is $41 per report compared to a best-in-class process costing $7 per report.
The power to be a satisfied employee
Who doesn’t love having awesome tools at their disposal? Employees know about the tech solutions that are available to them – they use them every day in their personal lives. If it makes the job easier, and helps employees succeed by getting more done with less, in a super flexible manner, they want it.