We already know that cloud computing can offer instant access to just about anything we want, wherever we go (as long as we have an Internet connection). That sounds great. But what could working from the cloud actually mean in terms of day-to-day work life? Quite a bit, actually. Here are five things you may find yourself doing as work functions move to the cloud.

  1. Throw away those flash drives
    Making a presentation at a client’s office? There’s no need to shuffle through every logo-clad thumb drive you’ve collected at business conferences to find the latest version. The cloud keeps your business documents safe, sound and easily accessible from your Internet-enabled mobile device. Of course, you may want to keep one USB, just in case you lose your connection. Maybe the one shaped like your favorite running shoe?
  2. Work from apps, not software
    Though cloud-based word processing and spreadsheets still have room for improvement,some companies are already shifting from Microsoft Office to options like Google Apps for Business. These apps let employees draft and edit files from their desktop or mobile device while providing valuable tools that let teams collaborate while creating documents.
  3. Loosen that chain to your desk
    When business documents and enterprise software are easily accessible from your mobile device, a working lunch in the park or a work-from-home day is more feasible than ever. Since there’s no need to connect to a local area network, there’s less need to spend every day at your workstation.
  4. Team with colleagues around the world
    With cloud computing, working where you like doesn’t mean you’re on an island. A major benefit of cloud-based services is that they allow companies to foster collaboration between unlikely parties—across physical and departmental boundaries. Since employees can access information from almost anywhere, companies can build cross-functional teams that share best practices to improve business processes.
  5. Build stronger customer connections
    Of course, better communication among company employees should naturally lead to better service for customers. But the cloud also can give companies the power to gather data about customers’ online behavior, analyze it, and use this information to change course.

Pretty cool, right? And that’s just the start of what the cloud might mean for your average workday.

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