Be it information or engineering, technology, has revolutionized the world of business in more ways than one. While trends in this field will never cease to evolve, the simplification of the most basic organizational functions has been taking companies by storm. While a demand for virtual offices represent this trend, there are other interesting virtual technologies gaining attention.
While it might have taken some time to catch up, adopting the virtual business practice has displayed advantages that are hard to overlook. No longer are individuals required to show up at their place of work to render their services. Virtual technologies and trend have answered some complex problems by eliminating geographic limitations, creating access to diverse skill sets, opening up new opportunities and ensuring cost effectiveness.
The practice of running a virtual office space has been around for more than a decade. As this technological realm continues to develop, a variety of techniques consistently crop up, thereby introducing the world to what lies beyond the ingenuity of virtual office spaces – the virtual world. This rising trend has led businesses to take more advantage of the “virtual” phenomenon and make things simpler and more convenient.
Virtual Roles Trending Today
Virtual teams work across space, time and organisational boundaries with links that are strengthened by webs of communication technologies.
However, what makes a virtual team a strong workforce are these simple features:
Variety in Choice: Ability to choose from a variety of talent and individuals not just in the vicinity of their location, but from anywhere across the world depending on the exact service they require, increasing their options tenfold.
Easy Communication: As organizations build their global teams, software like Microsoft Office 365 and Lync video conferencing make it easier to communicate and collaborate among them.
No geographic limitations: A virtual workforce also omits any trace of geographic limitations thereby rendering flexibility to this remote team and ensuring increased productivity.
No longer are personal assistants (PAs) required to be tied to their cubicles to carry out their tasks. Virtual assistants (VAs) perform the very same roles, and more.
Independent entities with a precise set of skills, virtual assistants mould their working hours around their employers’ convenience while saving up on important resources such as time and money.
The competition is already fierce among these individuals from across the globe with scores of skills in a variety of fields. Websites like Elance and People Per Hour provide the necessary platform where virtual assistants can bid for the tasks of their choice. At the same time companies are given a detailed insight on their prospective employees’ abilities and experiences making it easier for them to pick the best talent.
With self-employed VAs working from their home offices, their employer’s need not worry about labour costs, sick leaves, compensations, benefits or salary taxes. This edge makes VAs more productive than a regular assistant as they realize their income is completely dependent on the perfect execution of the given tasks.
Learning has no end and that is true in the world of business as well. Between keeping up with one’s own duties and learning new lessons and techniques that are introduced almost every day, it is sure a lot to handle in one lifetime.
Another virtual invention made accessible by technology is the virtual classroom. A combination of classroom-based training and self-paced e-learning, virtual classrooms also save up on a lot of time and money.
One of the best examples of virtual learning would be the Microsoft Virtual Academy. With virtual classrooms one need not worry about travelling to a class or pre-booking way in advance to attend a lecture. Anyone seeking to gain an edge in their field is only required to sign up to the course or live event of their choice and log in to ‘attend’ their lessons.
Interactive and immersive, instructors and their students can also communicate in real time via text, audio and video chat. Virtual classrooms allow its students to download lectures and presentations as well as test themselves with quizzes. This ultimately provides further room for improvement.
Server virtualization is the conversion of a single physical server into multiple virtual machines using specially designed software, commonly controlled by the administrator. As the maximum usage of resources is preferable in any field, the virtualization of servers is yet another service that provides just that.
An organization, be it big or small, is dependent upon a certain number of servers for its technical functions. Usually a single server is used for a single application. Technology based writer Jonathan Strickland states that, if multiple applications can use a minimum amount of processing power, the administrator would be able to merge several machines under one server while simultaneously running several virtual environments.
This method of consolidation helps companies reduce the need for physical space drastically. It also eliminates the need to purchase expensive hardware and extensive CAPEX. The reasons to use server virtualization are financial and technical in nature, but this trend also advocates the best possible usage of fewer resources.
With data virtualization one can manage any data by using an application to access, recover or reshape it without having to acquire its original path or its physical location. Wayne Eckerson, the Director of BI Leadership, a TechTarget research serviced chalked out few of the top uses of data virtualization.
Data virtualization helps test the effectiveness of a data-driven application before it’s physically fortified in the data warehouse storage. It helps enhance a particular bit of data or application by acquiring external data from other resources.
When a company is in urgent need of a data-intensive application at any time and place, instead of procuring the physical source, developers can use a data virtualization software to immediately create the application as and when required.
Data virtualization considerably reduces the time spent on development and support of data while increasing the speed of access to the information required at any time.
Today, even traditional businesses with a legacy are opting for the modern virtual options. The advantages and efficiencies of the virtual world are aplenty, flexible and undeniable, therefore, this is what makes it one of the most opted office solutions for startups. Especially for organisations who seek to push their limits with regards to geographic constraints.