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How Professional Work will be Virtualized in the Cloud

Professionals working remotely are accepted at most forward-thinking companies today, as more progressive executives direct their recruiters to search out and hire the best talent for the role -- regardless of where they reside.

Business is now run at the speed of information exchange, facilitated by online communications and real-time audio and video collaboration. In 10 years, however, the average work environment will likely be foreign to most people, according to the latest market study by Frost & Sullivan.

Their latest research features results from a Connected Home survey of more than 1,700 respondents, finding about 30 percent of individuals indicate they already work from home, at least part of the time.

The market analysis highlights the transformational technologies that are being introduced into the workplace. The research studied how business can depend less on a formalized structure, and more on a virtualized, idea-driven structure to leverage intellectual property for profit.

"The migration of work from the office to the home is profound," said Mike Jude, Ph.D., program manager at Frost & Sullivan. "This relocation defines the way in which professional workers interact, conduct business and manage their work-home dynamic. It also, not incidentally, defines how they buy and utilize communication services."

While some labor is a commodity that's supplied where it's least expensive -- i.e. the manufacturing sector -- good ideas cannot be produced on an assembly line. Today, savvy executives value superior ideas, while all other factors of product or service creation can potentially be outsourced.

As business increasingly depends on the process of ideation, superior ideas that lead to progressive development, production, marketing and sales are critical to remaining competitive in the Global Networked Economy.

"Along with social media and e-gaming, mobility has also largely been overlooked as an enabler of ideation and flexible work," added Jude. "Businesses generally view mobility as a way to extend the utility of employees, instead of combining tools to capture ideas and facilitate ideation."

Organizations of the future must break from the misconception that e-gaming, social media and other virtualization tools are confined to marketing and sales functions only, rather than as places for creative interaction.

According to the Frost & Sullivan assessment, mobility will play a key role in the future of work. As cellular networks become more data-centric, portal devices such as smartphones, tablets, and in the near future, devices like heads-up displays, will provide a portable work experience.

The implication of business focused on ideation, armed with virtual work environments that are projected to workers using mobile technologies, is transformational.

Telecom service providers focused on developing communication capabilities and cloud-based services that facilitate the construction of intelligent ideation spaces on the Web will be the leaders in this work revolution.

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