The office of tomorrow looks and operates differently from those of today. Our offices reflect, in part, a belief in mobile computing, team structure and productive utilization of physical office space. Gone are the days of dedicated large private offices, desktops, and old digital phone systems.
What does tomorrow's office look like?
For starters, future offices are likely to include full mobility, cloud storage, real-time team collaboration, and a greater focus on improving physical locations to drive collaboration and productivity. As many Fortune 500 companies continue to witness slower than anticipated revenue growth, prudent managers have placed a great deal of effort into managing costs and transitioning to mobile computing and remote collaboration. This will help improve employee productivity, reduce overhead, and manage costs moving forward.
Among other noticeable trends and data, a recent discussion with a friend who has lived and worked in Chicago for a number of years in the ad agency space substantiated this. Her comments were that enterprises were outfitting space and on-boarding technology in order to improve collaboration, creativity, and worker productivity. Take a look at the new digs in the main library of The University of Iowa where you have a study environment reflective of how our future generation works and learns.
The CCIM Institute recently published 10 trends in office design. For further reading concerning office utilization and design, navigate to the following link:
At the center of the technology component lies cloud computing. Microsoft and Amazon are two dominant players in the space. For the sake of this write-up, let us focus on Microsoft. It now seems long removed, but only five or so years ago, many believed Microsoft had failed to pivot from a desktop software application and largely missed the cloud computing revolution. In reality, Microsoft has transitioned and many of their software and productivity solutions now exist in the cloud. In fact, Microsoft's cloud solutions appear to keep the decay from their legacy Windows and mobile phone business at bay.
Microsoft released their Fiscal Year-End earnings report on July 19. Their own CEO, Satya Nadella had the following to say, "The Microsoft Cloud is seeing significant customer momentum and we're well positioned to reach new opportunities in the year ahead."
The biggest revenue gain came from their Azure cloud segment. Adjusting for currency this segment saw a revenue increase of 9.6 percent. The Azure product alone accelerated revenue by an impressive 102 percent year-over-year. The other two products driving cloud growth are Microsoft's 365 productivity tools and MS Dynamics CRM. This segment produced revenue growth of 7.6 percent, adjusted for currency fluctuations. Commercial sales of MS 365 increased by 54 percent.
It was reported that Microsoft management's team expects their capital investments in cloud computing will begin to slow and earnings will reflect margin expansion by way of economies of scale.
We utilize Microsoft's most recent earnings report as a proxy to validate the transition many companies are exploiting by utilizing mobile platforms to deliver improved employee productivity, security and scale within their technology solutions.
There is little doubt the office of the future will appear and function much differently than they do, in large part, today. As a firm that prides itself on delivering "best in class" service for our clients, we will always innately seek to implement technology solutions to drive efficiencies and deliver the service our clients have become accustomed to.
If you are operating a business and would like to know more about how companies are exploiting technology to improve company performance, we would like to hear from you. Please contact us.