|By Mark Duffin||
|April 20, 2013 12:45 PM EDT||
A new American workforce is emerging. A recent report from Accenture says the number of U.S. workers who are independent (such as freelancers, contractors or temps) is up 6 percent from 1989. Work as we know it is changing. Because of constant connectivity, companies across the globe no longer need their employees in the same building - or the same state - in order to do their jobs well.
The rise in smartphones and cloud-based platforms has made it easier for businesses to tap into contractor networks to expand their workforces. For many companies, using a contractor or temporary employee helps them manage busy seasons and scale when demand rises unexpectedly. For instance, an air conditioning company may need extra employees in the spring and early summer to do seasonal cleaning and updates. Or during hurricane season in Florida, a home improvement store may need extra technicians to install storm shutters.
Supplementing existing employees with a contractor network is a relatively new concept, made much easier with technology such as smartphones and tablets. According to an IPM survey, more than 66 percent of respondents indicated they would take a lower-paying job if it provided flexibility.
To accommodate for this rise in the new American workforce, companies are turning to the cloud to deliver solutions to better manage their contracted employees. Virtual dispatch and job-management tools allow companies to find and remotely manage contracted or independent technicians closest to a service call, increasing employee utilization and service efficiency.
The History of the Cloud and the New American Workforce
As this workforce grew (and continues to grow today), company executives were struggling to manage the number of service calls and dispatch the correct independent contractor quickly. With the cloud, companies saw a way to get affordable access to shared resources.
The cloud was first born when IT departments were unprepared for the need for speed. As company employees began to demand things faster than IT departments could deliver, service providers saw a business opportunity. By delivering hosted services - now known as the cloud - in the early 2000s, workforce management companies offered a solution to their customers, effectively reducing the overhead cost of hosting and maintaining hardware and software themselves.
When the economy fell hard in 2008 and 2009, companies needed solutions that helped reduce cost while maintaining or increasing productivity. For companies that still needed - or wanted to gain - functionality, lowering costs became increasingly difficult. Companies needed a self-supported machine to store and share product and customer information with their full-time and contract workers. They needed increased bandwidth for storage, and they needed it at an affordable price.
What the Cloud Offers to Independent Contractors
Using a cloud-based platform, companies can manage all of their operations securely from the web. While using independent technicians or contracted workers, companies can collect information on customers, inventory and lead generation while storing it securely in the cloud. This means an independent contractor can be in a different state than the companies' corporate office, yet can access a customer's history, parts needed and skills required before going on a service call.
With cloud computing, the power is in an individual's hands. By taking hardware to the cloud, managers can manage people instead of software. Companies that offer cloud hosting services do the heavy lifting for these busy business owners, and ensure that everything runs smoothly and can be found easily.
The cloud can also store information on these independent contractors, which makes it easier for companies to ensure this mobile workforce is prepared before they go out on a service call. For example, companies can search for a contractor who specializes in cable installation. They instantly have access to contractors who qualify and can see their location and availability. Later in the process, they can view whether the contractor accepted the job, view status updates on the service provided, and generate reports to analyze the entire service process.
The cloud offers a seamless, affordable, easy-to-use platform to manage this growing workforce. The Accenture study showed that the majority of executives surveyed described the extended workforce as highly valuable for their business. As companies increasingly see the value of this skilled group, they will need cloud solutions that are affordable and easy to use.
This is a no-hype, pragmatic post about why I think you should consider architecting your next project the way SOA and/or microservices suggest. No matter if it’s a greenfield approach or if you’re in dire need of refactoring. Please note: considering still keeps open the option of not taking that approach. After reading this, you will have a better idea about whether building multiple small components instead of a single, large component makes sense for your project. This post assumes that you...
Aug. 31, 2016 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 5,337
This complete kit provides a proven process and customizable documents that will help you evaluate rapid application delivery platforms and select the ideal partner for building mobile and web apps for your organization.
Aug. 31, 2016 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 3,221
Monitoring of Docker environments is challenging. Why? Because each container typically runs a single process, has its own environment, utilizes virtual networks, or has various methods of managing storage. Traditional monitoring solutions take metrics from each server and applications they run. These servers and applications running on them are typically very static, with very long uptimes. Docker deployments are different: a set of containers may run many applications, all sharing the resource...
Aug. 31, 2016 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,162
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
Aug. 31, 2016 02:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,898
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
Aug. 31, 2016 02:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,295
Aug. 30, 2016 11:15 PM EDT Reads: 4,994
There's a lot of things we do to improve the performance of web and mobile applications. We use caching. We use compression. We offload security (SSL and TLS) to a proxy with greater compute capacity. We apply image optimization and minification to content. We do all that because performance is king. Failure to perform can be, for many businesses, equivalent to an outage with increased abandonment rates and angry customers taking to the Internet to express their extreme displeasure.
Aug. 30, 2016 08:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,478
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
Aug. 30, 2016 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,048
Before becoming a developer, I was in the high school band. I played several brass instruments - including French horn and cornet - as well as keyboards in the jazz stage band. A musician and a nerd, what can I say? I even dabbled in writing music for the band. Okay, mostly I wrote arrangements of pop music, so the band could keep the crowd entertained during Friday night football games. What struck me then was that, to write parts for all the instruments - brass, woodwind, percussion, even k...
Aug. 30, 2016 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,241
Right off the bat, Newman advises that we should "think of microservices as a specific approach for SOA in the same way that XP or Scrum are specific approaches for Agile Software development". These analogies are very interesting because my expectation was that microservices is a pattern. So I might infer that microservices is a set of process techniques as opposed to an architectural approach. Yet in the book, Newman clearly includes some elements of concept model and architecture as well as p...
Aug. 30, 2016 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 10,942
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
Aug. 30, 2016 05:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,603
Modern organizations face great challenges as they embrace innovation and integrate new tools and services. They begin to mature and move away from the complacency of maintaining traditional technologies and systems that only solve individual, siloed problems and work “well enough.” In order to build...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
Aug. 30, 2016 03:30 PM EDT Reads: 3,803
Thomas Bitman of Gartner wrote a blog post last year about why OpenStack projects fail. In that article, he outlined three particular metrics which together cause 60% of OpenStack projects to fall short of expectations: Wrong people (31% of failures): a successful cloud needs commitment both from the operations team as well as from "anchor" tenants. Wrong processes (19% of failures): a successful cloud automates across silos in the software development lifecycle, not just within silos.
Aug. 30, 2016 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 2,239
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Aug. 30, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,257
[session] Architecting for the Cloud By @RagsS | @CloudExpo @IBMBluemix #Cloud #Docker #Microservices
As the world moves toward more DevOps and Microservices, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. The Microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, NetFlix and so on, is at the heart of Cloud Foundry - a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS) that is IaaS agnostic and supports vCloud, OpenStack and AWS. Serverless computing is revolutionizing computing. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Raghav...
Aug. 30, 2016 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,104
SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, a leading provider of middleware modernization, integration, and management solutions, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware evolution products and services that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...
Aug. 30, 2016 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 914
Let's just nip the conflation of these terms in the bud, shall we?
"MIcro" is big these days. Both microservices and microsegmentation are having and will continue to have an impact on data center architecture, but not necessarily for the same reasons. There's a growing trend in which folks - particularly those with a network background - conflate the two and use them to mean the same thing.
They are not.
One is about the application. The other, the network. T...
Aug. 30, 2016 09:45 AM EDT Reads: 4,787
The following fictional case study is a composite of actual horror stories I’ve heard over the years. Unfortunately, this scenario often occurs when in-house integration teams take on the complexities of DevOps and ALM integration with an enterprise service bus (ESB) or custom integration. It is written from the perspective of an enterprise architect tasked with leading an organization’s effort to adopt Agile to become more competitive. The company has turned to Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) as ...
Aug. 30, 2016 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,017
If you are within a stones throw of the DevOps marketplace you have undoubtably noticed the growing trend in Microservices. Whether you have been staying up to date with the latest articles and blogs or you just read the definition for the first time, these 5 Microservices Resources You Need In Your Life will guide you through the ins and outs of Microservices in today’s world.
Aug. 30, 2016 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 5,273