Working in the cloud: Virtual offices
“The technological revolution has given rise to virtual offices - a development that enables professionals to work from home, abroad or elsewhere, yet benefit from the infrastructure synonymous with a physical office.
This allows businesses to operate far more flexibly. Despite employees working remotely, they can access virtual meeting room facilities, a multi-lingual receptionist manning a local telephone number and a central business district address.
The virtual office has been made possible thanks to the advent of cloud technology, something that can be implemented at a fraction of the cost, and the time, of an on-site equivalent. There is no need to purchase additional hardware, software licenses or setup costs.
Features of the virtual office
In addition to the above business fundamentals, a virtual office features the following:
• A receptionist who answers in your company name. Calls are then transferred to wherever you are in the world.
• Interactive voicemail, which remains interactive for 24 hours per day.
• Your virtual office provider will grant permission to your company to use their city centre location for incoming post and corporate literature. If you’re in the UK and looking for a virtual office London may be your preferred destination. By using your provider’s address, you don’t have to fork out a small fortune on real estate.
• Access to physical offices, meeting rooms and boardrooms when the need arises.
These features allow a company to have more say over how their internal resources are controlled. If a third party virtual office provider takes care of the cost and management of servers, a business can dedicate resources elsewhere.
Further, companies can look forward to the dedicated level of service that a virtual office provider offers. This is great news for organisations that have experienced network outages - as this is something that virtual offices take care of.
A virtual office environment features the highest levels of security. There’s a misconception that just because there isn’t a single machine with a hard disk storing a company’s sensitive information, that potentially everyone has access to it.
Data is hosted and stored in a way that only permits access to authenticated users, and this is achieved through proven cryptographic services. Businesses are also presented with the option of encrypting their data before it is passed on to a third party.
Different cloud based services
Cloud-based services come in many guises, and one of the simplest and most popular is Google Docs. The service, which enables organisations to create and manage documents online, often in collaboration with other users, was launched in 2006. All documents are saved onto Google’s servers to ensure that no data is lost.
At the other end of the spectrum is cloud-based financial software - typically laden with features, there’s more of a ‘service’ element, with things like infrastructure, database management, storage, backup services and disaster recovery taken care of. Security continues to be a concern, although this is improving all the time with identity, authentication and authentication management services, in addition to activity and production monitoring, be offered as standard.
These services fall under the bracket of SaaS, a term that stands for ‘software as a service’. In addition to cloud computing, SaaS also encompasses ‘infrastructure as a service’ and ‘platform as a service’.
The future of cloud computing
At Microsoft and The Telegraph’s 2011 cloud computing conference, futurologist Dr James Bellini predicted that, by the 2020s, some organisations will have “no chief executive, no headquarters and no IT infrastructure”.
He went on to say that, in 10 to 15 years’ time, up to 80 per cent of a company’s employees may be based outside their organisation.
The future, it seems, will see businesses increasingly rely on cloud computing.
About Servcorp virtual offices London
Servcorp offers the world’s finest serviced and virtual office solutions. Founded in Sydney in 1978, Servcorp now operates an international network of prime city locations throughout Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States of America, China, South-East Asia, India, Europe and the Middle East , including our virtual office London
. A Servcorp virtual office address
gives clients access to the presence; facilities whilst they work from home or another location.
Author - Lynsey Calver
Tags - virtual offices, cloud based services, virtual office, Virtual Office London
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