These days, it seems that everyone is using the cloud. Moreover, it isn't only users who are getting on board; businesses are beginning to realise that a physical headquarters and 40-hour work week are quickly becoming obsolete. Today's employee wants to be able to work from outside the office during hours that they are able so that a work-life balance can be established.
Many studies have found that employee productivity can increase exponentially where the opportunity to access the office environment from anywhere exists. And with cloud portals offering financial incentives in the form of per-user licensing as well as fewer IT and maintenance costs, moving to the cloud just makes sense. But what does the future of the corporate portal look like?
In the old days, the definition of a corporate portal was a fancy employee directory. Today, however, many portals provide multi-resource access; a trend that will continue into the future. Accessible resources include training materials, human resource information and collaboration environments.
This multi-cloud environment is already in use by many companies whose employees are using several public services to store and process corporate data. As this market matures, IT staff will seek and implement new management methods.
The module-based system used by many of today's businesses will be gone, along with the separate software programs they use in order to perform specific functions. Instead, a corporate portal that is truly integrated will be king, thanks to open application programming interface, or API. Not only will this drastically reduce the complexity of basic job functions, but API will not require additional user IDs and passwords. As well, the future of the corporate portal will see all users having the same experiences instead of having to relearn systems on a continuous basis, as is the case with many of today's corporate portals.
Currently, services are being offered by big business for up to ten times less that of their smaller competitors. This will eventually make it impossible for small competitors to survive. However, in order to monetise this, large corporations will have to be able to garner the trust of service providers and build relationships with them. In turn, service providers will need to offer the prices of corporate competitors, but also offer their own specialised cloud offerings. It is through this necessary collaboration that both corporation and service provider can earn revenue in what will essentially be a multi-cloud environment.
Today's cloud is still in its infancy. This means security concerns for many companies who have particular requirements today's cloud is not yet able to meet. However, as the cloud evolves, so will the level of security that it's able to offer. This will result in more corporations putting their portals in the cloud.
While several companies may choose only to make their existing services and tools appear to be more cloud-centric without actually migrating to the cloud, this will only last for so long. Eventually, companies will come to realise that doing so will not allow them to operate in a cloud-centric landscape where consumers and service providers operate. In order to remain competitive, companies will need to take advantage of younger companies born in the cloud by acquiring them.
In general, a much higher degree of oversight and planning will need to take place in order for companies to create portals that are fully integrated and completely based in the cloud. However, in order to continue to compete in the marketplace, this will be a necessity that no company will be able to ignore.