|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.
We call it DevOps but much of the time there’s a lot more discussion about the needs and concerns of developers than there is about other groups. There’s a focus on improved and less isolated developer workflows. There are many discussions around collaboration, continuous integration and delivery, issue tracking, source code control, code review, IDEs, and xPaaS – and all the tools that enable those things. Changes in developer practices may come up – such as developers taking ownership of code ...
Feb. 23, 2017 10:15 PM EST Reads: 2,541
The rise of containers and microservices has skyrocketed the rate at which new applications are moved into production environments today. While developers have been deploying containers to speed up the development processes for some time, there still remain challenges with running microservices efficiently. Most existing IT monitoring tools don’t actually maintain visibility into the containers that make up microservices. As those container applications move into production, some IT operations t...
Feb. 23, 2017 09:30 PM EST Reads: 857
As organizations realize the scope of the Internet of Things, gaining key insights from Big Data, through the use of advanced analytics, becomes crucial. However, IoT also creates the need for petabyte scale storage of data from millions of devices. A new type of Storage is required which seamlessly integrates robust data analytics with massive scale. These storage systems will act as “smart systems” provide in-place analytics that speed discovery and enable businesses to quickly derive meaningf...
Feb. 23, 2017 06:30 PM EST Reads: 6,256
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.
Feb. 23, 2017 05:15 PM EST Reads: 1,121
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and containers together help companies achieve their business goals faster and more effectively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic, reviewed the current landscape of Dev...
Feb. 23, 2017 04:30 PM EST Reads: 5,746
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outlyer, a monitoring service for DevOps and operations teams, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outlyer is a monitoring service for DevOps and Operations teams running Cloud, SaaS, Microservices and IoT deployments. Designed for today's dynamic environments that need beyond cloud-scale monitoring, we make monitoring effortless so you...
Feb. 23, 2017 03:45 PM EST Reads: 1,614
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann and Aruna Ravichandran have been named Co-Chairs of @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo 2017. The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Feb. 23, 2017 03:30 PM EST Reads: 1,596
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
Feb. 23, 2017 03:00 PM EST Reads: 1,835
TechTarget storage websites are the best online information resource for news, tips and expert advice for the storage, backup and disaster recovery markets. By creating abundant, high-quality editorial content across more than 140 highly targeted technology-specific websites, TechTarget attracts and nurtures communities of technology buyers researching their companies' information technology needs. By understanding these buyers' content consumption behaviors, TechTarget creates the purchase inte...
Feb. 23, 2017 01:15 PM EST Reads: 1,466
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his general session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore...
Feb. 23, 2017 12:57 PM EST Reads: 500
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...
Feb. 23, 2017 11:45 AM EST Reads: 1,317
DevOps and microservices are permeating software engineering teams broadly, whether these teams are in pure software shops but happen to run a business, such Uber and Airbnb, or in companies that rely heavily on software to run more traditional business, such as financial firms or high-end manufacturers. Microservices and DevOps have created software development and therefore business speed and agility benefits, but they have also created problems; specifically, they have created software securi...
Feb. 23, 2017 11:00 AM EST Reads: 3,420
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 with...
Feb. 23, 2017 10:00 AM EST Reads: 7,210
"We provide DevOps solutions. We also partner with some key players in the DevOps space and we use the technology that we partner with to engineer custom solutions for different organizations," stated Himanshu Chhetri, CTO of Addteq, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Feb. 23, 2017 07:00 AM EST Reads: 5,966
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, CTO of Embotics, will discuss how automation can provide the dynamic management required to cost-effectively deliver microservices and container solutions at scale. He will discuss how flexible automation is the key to effectively bridging and seamlessly coordinating both IT and developer needs for component orchestration across disparate clouds – an increasingly important requirement at today’s multi-cloud enterprise.
Feb. 23, 2017 06:00 AM EST Reads: 1,447
True Story. Over the past few years, Fannie Mae transformed the way in which they delivered software. Deploys increased from 1,200/month to 15,000/month. At the same time, productivity increased by 28% while reducing costs by 30%. But, how did they do it? During the All Day DevOps conference, over 13,500 practitioners from around the world to learn from their peers in the industry. Barry Snyder, Senior Manager of DevOps at Fannie Mae, was one of 57 practitioners who shared his real world journe...
Feb. 23, 2017 05:45 AM EST Reads: 1,951
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of Soli...
Feb. 23, 2017 05:45 AM EST Reads: 796
When building DevOps or continuous delivery practices you can learn a great deal from others. What choices did they make, what practices did they put in place, and how did they connect the dots? At Sonatype, we pulled together a set of 21 reference architectures for folks building continuous delivery and DevOps practices using Docker. Why? After 3,000 DevOps professionals attended our webinar on "Continuous Integration using Docker" discussing just one reference architecture example, we recogn...
Feb. 23, 2017 04:00 AM EST Reads: 2,610
Thanks to Docker and the DevOps revolution, microservices have emerged as the new way to build and deploy applications — and there are plenty of great reasons to embrace the microservices trend. If you are going to adopt microservices, you also have to understand that microservice architectures have many moving parts. When it comes to incident management, this presents an important difference between microservices and monolithic architectures. More moving parts mean more complexity to monitor an...
Feb. 23, 2017 01:30 AM EST Reads: 1,428
Feb. 22, 2017 11:30 PM EST Reads: 6,705