The teleworking trend made headlines recently, as Yahoo's newly appointed CEO issued a company-wide ban on the practice. The motivations behind her decision make sense – many companies could benefit from a reinvigoration of corporate culture and creating unity among their workers. The effectiveness of the decision is still up for debate, however, as InfoWorld's David Linthicum pointed out, the incident does provide a good case for examining the relationship between teleworking and cloud computing.
"The work-at-home movement drives a great deal of interest in cloud computing. Public cloud platforms are typically better at providing IT services over the open Internet than enterprise IT is capable of doing. Thus, the public cloud can better serve a workforce that's as likely to work at the local Starbucks as the corner conference room because they can push processing, storage, and enterprise applications to a middle tier between the company and the user."
Linthicum noted that this applies to scenarios outside of teleworking, as any company with a mobile or geographically disparate workforce could benefit from cloud storage and other third-party services. Even so, security concerns can be amplified for companies that already fear data protection in public cloud environments, particularly given the difficulty in managing a remote workforce. Linthicum suggested that the companies "innovative enough" to manage a remote workforce effectively would also be able to mitigate risks associated with incorporating new technology into their IT environments.
Despite those remaining concerns, the public cloud market is expected to undergo healthy growth, according to Gartner. The research firm predicted the worldwide market to reach $131 billion by the end of 2013. Analysts noted that cloud storage, compute and print services would be the fastest growing segments.