The [toy] story that taught the office design world to utilise cloud tech

At some point it's happened to us all. You're working on a document, in full flow when suddenly everything freezes. For Mac users it's the 'beach ball of death', and for those using PCs it's just a total standstill.

You know there's trouble. Next thing, you have to reboot your machine and the file magically disappears, or at least comes up with a version you made hours before.

Cue pulling hair out and shouting expletives...

So what if that document you lose is a feature-length animation that is expected to make millions in the box office, and yet somehow it has vanished? That's what happened to one incredibly unlucky Pixar employee who, while working on Toy Story 2, managed to enter a wrong command.

With the click of a button the film's data started to vanish.

It wasn't until the next day that they discovered, to their great relief, that someone had an older copy of the film at home, but Pixar's near disaster is a cautionary tale about not backing up your files - which these days is a workplace must.

In today's flexible offices, with employees coming and going, mobile back-up systems are essential.

How safe is your desktop?

The truth is, workplaces simply cannot rely on the traditional method of having everything saved on a desktop, and office designers who don't factor in the kind of technology that makes sharing and saving files safe, when designing a space, are exposing entire workplaces to potential data loss disasters.

Neither does new hardware technology provide the solution, as efficient as they might be at connecting you across your PC, laptop, phone and tablet. Enter, cloud computing.

Cloud computing has changed the way we think about technology, and it has also changed how we think about office design. Instead of backing up files with external hard drives and memory sticks, today the internet has the capacity to save and share our files. Backing up, saving and transporting documents with mobile devices is not only old-fashioned, it's simply not as safe as the cloud. In the same way, instead of dedicating space for cables and energy sucking hardware, today the cloud can free up space in the workplace for more modern appliances that suit a modern workforce.

Flexible, social and safe

People have become untethered from traditional office environments and are free to roam around, safely, and as such the office transforms into a flexible, social hub. The biggest impact of cloud computing is that rather than storing company data on internal servers, it is all held at an external data centre. What that means for companies is they can be more experimental with their offices, and operate out of smaller spaces, and you can say goodbye to all the cabling.

Further, the rise of cloud computing is also leading to the increase in companies renting office space as and when they need it, and not having a fixed office. This means that just as computing becomes a big overarching cloud, so does the city become a vast office that we can work across.

Has cloud computing changed the way your workplace looks and operates? If so, we'd like to hear how. Tweet @AreaSq or follow us for office design updates.

Of course, if you would like to get in touch with one of our expert designers to discuss your own workspace, you can complete the contact form at the top of the page.

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