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Working on the Road

The Internet and Cloud computing offer true workforce mobility if you are bold enough to make the leap.

I am sitting at Remedy café on the corner of Jasper and 103rd in Edmonton as I frequently do whenever I come to Alberta. While the food, the atmosphere and the staff are all excellent, I would prefer to talk about my experience operating my business from a worn out leather bound armchair, thousands of miles from my home office.

Almost half of the people here are using laptops and are probably also connected to the Internet as I am and those not using their laptops are probably checking text messages from friends and family, the songs streaming over the PA system here are from an Internet radio station.

In 2013, this is certainly not an unusual scene, but I believe that the big difference for me is that my business is now almost 100% cloud driven. So if I lost my laptop or my phone or even my Accounting Server back in Ontario, I could be back up and operating again as quickly as I can drop by a local computer store and purchase whatever hardware had failed me.

For example, I work with Mohammed, who runs our Edmonton office. Together we drove to Calgary to attend the Calgary Chamber Flood Recovery Expo and learn how small and medium businesses in the Calgary community were devastated by the destruction there.

During our trip, we received a few support calls from customers who required new services or help troubleshooting a problem. While travelling exactly 110km/h (because we would never speed in Alberta) we were able to log in and remotely control the computers of our clients and resolve their problems and answer their questions. Let me be clear; I drove while Mohammed did the typing.

During this drive, we also Skyped with Martin in London and provided him with training on the nuances of Office 365, and I printed some cheques for my business partner to sign back in our Ontario office. For this, I did have to stop the car.

This technology is now available to so many. If you want to work from the cottage, you can. If you need to access data and critical information, from almost anywhere in the world, you can. Best of all, if you want to stop worrying that if you lose your laptop or if your server goes down your in serious trouble, well you can stop worrying.

This is something that became more apparent to me as people shared stories about the destruction and losses they faced in the Calgary and High River floods. Yes, people did lose inventory, and had damaged houses and shops and cars and equipment, and those loses are not to be ignored, but now I can see that I can help people make their accounting systems flood, fire and theft proof.

One of the outcomes of the Calgary event for me, is that I’ve volunteered to send all recycled computers from my business partners and customers to send them to those in the region that have lost computer equipment in the flood. I know that the losses in Calgary will be measured in the Billions, and a few computers is just a drop in the bucket. But as on Calgary Businesswoman said, we do what we’re good at.

If you want to work more from home or on the road, or if you need to make your business technology disaster proof, or if you just want to help those affected by the Calgary disaster. Give me a call.

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