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November 2014
Issue: August 1, 2010

CLOUD COMPUTING

By: David Dimeola
Generally speaking, cloud computing is Internet-based computing, where shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand, similar to how the electricity grid provides electricity. In today’s market, people are struggling to define what cloud computing means and how it could change our lives.

Cloud computing presents new opportunities for working remotely. In the near future, cloud computing may make it possible for a workstation to only include an interface, leaving the CPU and storage drives to be delivered via the cloud. Freelancers will be directly impacted by this new remote work model, and should be prepared to take advantage of these opportunities.

Companies that rely on freelancers have the ability to rapidly scale their workforce from small to large, as the situation demands, and as needed. Currently, freelance work predominately occurs in major cities, where freelancers can commute to client sites and sit at a workstation on location, often keeping to a traditional “nine to five” client workday. This current freelancer-client interaction has limitations.

The client is constrained by the amount of on-site physical space in which it can realistically house freelancers. By having to work on-site, freelancers are limited in how many clients they can work for on a given day, especially given the valuable time that is lost commuting to and from a client site. In addition, the nine to five workday that most clients keep may not dovetail with peak performance times for freelancers, some of whom would prefer to work later in the evening, or early in the morning. These limitations disappear with cloud computing. If freelancers work remotely via the cloud, physical space constraints that clients’ face disappear, traditional work hours become irrelevant, and freelancers now have the ability to provide services to multiple clients at any given time.

Cloud computing will help us evolve past traditional workforce arrangements that developed with the industrial revolution, and adopt those that befit the technological revolution. In addition to the business opportunities that cloud computing remote work offers, when freelancers can control our own schedules and have a significant role in choosing our work environment, we will feel more invested in the process and final product.

Cloud computing has the potential to provide a new remote work model for freelancers that will maximize our efficiency and efficacy, all from the comfort of our preferred physical location. The cloud will provide us with software, hardware, and faster internet speeds, allowing freelancers to provide highly specialized products to clients in a rapid response timeframe. The cloud will also enable freelancers to increase our profit margins by allowing for larger client portfolios. The cloud will allow clients to virtually diversify and expand their employee base, and their products will only be limited by their imagination, not their desk space.

David Dimeola is Operating Manager for The Brigade (www.brigade.tv), a creative studio building special teams to deliver animation for the film and advertising industry.