SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Courtney Abud

Article

How Close Are We to a Virtual Company Revolution?

Are We Close to a Virtual Company Revolution?

As we all know, the First Industrial Revolution used the power steam to mechanize production; the Second used electronic to create mass production and the Third used IT to automate production. And while those revolutions were characterized by advances in technology, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, as Klaus Schwab explains in the book of the same name, is quite different than the previous three. Today, we are facing a range of different technologies that combine the digital, physical and biological worlds, and have a potential to connect billions of people as well as change practically every business industry.

Virtual Companies and Remote Working
Ever since Yahoo announced the termination of their remote working program three years ago, people never stopped debating whether or not virtual employees and teams can perform as well as those in an office environment. However, there is a strong case to be made for remote work and virtual teams. According to an often-cited Cisco study, almost 70% of workers feel that they are more productive when working remote. Nevertheless, companies that are opting for this modern business model still face quite a few challenges. And while the model is relatively new, they can still learn from someone who had already been through it.

The Benefits of Virtual Companies

Lower Costs

Whereas traditional businesses are forced to maintain traditional offices, virtual companies effectively eliminate any real estate costs. Savings from this easily translate to lower prices for consumers (who, naturally, reward the company with their business), which gives virtual businesses a huge competitive advantage.

Employee Retention

In the past, smaller businesses definitely had a hard time attracting top talent, because most quality workers just weren't interested in joining small, unproven companies. However, virtual companies now have the advantage of a remote work environment, which helps employees save up to 10 hours every week in commuting time.

Newest Technology

Practically every virtual business needs to invest a huge chunk of their budget in technology – they have to develop strong processes and cutting-edge tools for data management. Even though this means that their technology expenses will probably be quite large, it will only serve as another competitive advantage down the line.

The Challenges of Virtual Companies

Company Culture

Unfortunately, due to lack of face-to-face meetings, virtual businesses can be susceptible to poor company culture. That is why, most team leaders have to devote a lot of their attention to developing a pleasant working atmosphere that allows their team to learn more about one another, and establish fruitful working relationships.

Communications

When you’re working in an office, you have no trouble speaking with your colleagues – in most cases, you only need to turn to the next desk and start a conversation. And the fact is, many employees today are still not accustomed to this type of communication. While there are many cloud-based tools out there today, like BlueJeans and OfficeSuite that allow employees to collaborate, most people are still learning how to rely on them.

Hiring Remote Workers

And while younger people (especially millennials) are attracted by the idea of remote working, some people are just not suited to work in that environment. Luckily, today you have modern online time attendance software to help you with performance management, but it still can hard to find experienced employees who are self-disciplined enough to stay productive from home.

Meeting In Person Still Matters

Despite many advantages of virtual teams, when it comes to building strong relationships within the company, meeting people face-to-face is still a vital part of the process. Regular meet-ups also remain important even after the first few months. Recent research from the Harvard University suggests that in about 85% of companies, employee morale has a tendency to sharply decline after the first 6 months, and continues to go down for years afterward. And that is why employees have to use the time they have in person to really get to know their co-workers and completely eliminate any feelings that cause a disconnect.

All in all, the new business model can be a rather beneficial form a cost effective and talent acquisition perspective, as long as young entrepreneurs manage to carefully avoid some of the aforementioned obstacles. For now, the virtual business model can provide a competitive advantage, which can easily become the very difference between success and failure.

More Stories By Nate Vickery

Nate M. Vickery is a business consultant from Sydney, Australia. He has a degree in marketing and almost a decade of experience in company management through latest technology trends. Nate is also the editor-in-chief at bizzmarkblog.com.

Latest Stories
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
Serverless Architecture is the new paradigm shift in cloud application development. It has potential to take the fundamental benefit of cloud platform leverage to another level. "Focus on your application code, not the infrastructure" All the leading cloud platform provide services to implement Serverless architecture : AWS Lambda, Azure Functions, Google Cloud Functions, IBM Openwhisk, Oracle Fn Project.
As you know, enterprise IT conversation over the past year have often centered upon the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration system. In fact, Kubernetes has emerged as the key technology -- and even primary platform -- of cloud migrations for a wide variety of organizations. Kubernetes is critical to forward-looking enterprises that continue to push their IT infrastructures toward maximum functionality, scalability, and flexibility.
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
AI and machine learning disruption for Enterprises started happening in the areas such as IT operations management (ITOPs) and Cloud management and SaaS apps. In 2019 CIOs will see disruptive solutions for Cloud & Devops, AI/ML driven IT Ops and Cloud Ops. Customers want AI-driven multi-cloud operations for monitoring, detection, prevention of disruptions. Disruptions cause revenue loss, unhappy users, impacts brand reputation etc.
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
Serverless applications increase developer productivity and time to market, by freeing engineers from spending time on infrastructure provisioning, configuration and management. Serverless also simplifies Operations and reduces cost - as the Kubernetes container infrastructure required to run these applications is automatically spun up and scaled precisely with the workload, to optimally handle all runtime requests. Recent advances in open source technology now allow organizations to run Serv...
Serverless Computing or Functions as a Service (FaaS) is gaining momentum. Amazon is fueling the innovation by expanding Lambda to edge devices and content distribution network. IBM, Microsoft, and Google have their own FaaS offerings in the public cloud. There are over half-a-dozen open source serverless projects that are getting the attention of developers.
The benefits of automated cloud deployments for speed, reliability and security are undeniable. The cornerstone of this approach, immutable deployment, promotes the idea of continuously rolling safe, stable images instead of trying to keep up with managing a fixed pool of virtual or physical machines. In this talk, we'll explore the immutable infrastructure pattern and how to use continuous deployment and continuous integration (CI/CD) process to build and manage server images for any platform....
If you are part of the cloud development community, you certainly know about “serverless computing,” almost a misnomer. Because it implies there are no servers which is untrue. However the servers are hidden from the developers. This model eliminates operational complexity and increases developer productivity. We came from monolithic computing to client-server to services to microservices to the serverless model. In other words, our systems have slowly “dissolved” from monolithic to function-...
Containers and Kubernetes allow for code portability across on-premise VMs, bare metal, or multiple cloud provider environments. Yet, despite this portability promise, developers may include configuration and application definitions that constrain or even eliminate application portability. In this session we'll describe best practices for "configuration as code" in a Kubernetes environment. We will demonstrate how a properly constructed containerized app can be deployed to both Amazon and Azure ...
Atmosera delivers modern cloud services that maximize the advantages of cloud-based infrastructures. Offering private, hybrid, and public cloud solutions, Atmosera works closely with customers to engineer, deploy, and operate cloud architectures with advanced services that deliver strategic business outcomes. Atmosera's expertise simplifies the process of cloud transformation and our 20+ years of experience managing complex IT environments provides our customers with the confidence and trust tha...
Docker is sweeping across startups and enterprises alike, changing the way we build and ship applications. It's the most prominent and widely known software container platform, and it's particularly useful for eliminating common challenges when collaborating on code (like the "it works on my machine" phenomenon that most devs know all too well). With Docker, you can run and manage apps side-by-side - in isolated containers - resulting in better compute density. It's something that many developer...
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable?Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, answered these questions and demonstrated techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances and co...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...