How can society resist Cloud Commuting? Answer? We can’t. There is too much savings in pollution, travel expense avoided, and lives saved; worker satisfaction and productivity gains are enormous.
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How about Cloud Commuting instead of physical commuting?
Cloud Commuting is not only desirable, but necessary. I estimate up to 50,000,000 US Jobs could be Cloud-managed; at home, in a home office properly equipped with the right equipment configuration, including Whiteboarding, multi-screen software, full video and audio Conferencing and related materials. Potential savings of 250,000,000 hours A WEEK in commute time is valuable ; saving the equivalent of 7 million barrels of oil in transportation fuels a week ( $500,000,000 million a week=$26,000,000,000 Billion a year is valuable! ( Mostly personal expense, I might add); heck, just the increase in “associate” satisfaction through time saved and added-value-time-with-family-and-self would be enough to make it worthwhile.
How about the Annual Operating cost of $4,800 per vehicle (IRS allowance at $48.5 cents per mile=$240,000,000,000 Billion (that’s Billions with a Big “B” folks!). Add a lot of pollution elimination, saved wear and tear on roadways and accidents not occurring- National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports 20,000 commute-related deaths each year, caused by hundreds of thousands of commute-related accidents and related costs. (http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dots.gov/pubs/811196.pdf) Add additional savings of deaths-during-commuting not occurring (estimated 20,000. What’s a life worth? Based on Economic estimates a life lost costs, in terms of previous investment and lost future income, get ready…here it comes…$2,300,000 x 20,000 = $46,000,000,000 Billion (that’s Billions with a Big “B” folks).
How about the reduction in building space needed for offices and support services? If one person uses 165 square feet of office/cubicle space and 65 feet of hallway, closet and infrastructure, plus parking, air conditioning, heat, janitorial, and all the rest, 50,000,000 non-commuters would save…get ready…here it comes…. over 5,000,000,000 Billion (that’s Billions with a Big “B” folks) square feet of office and building space at a estimated cost of $125-150 per square foot plus $10.00 per foot in annual operating costs (utilities, insurance, other expenses, a first year savings of get ready…here it comes…$625,000,000,000 Billion (that’s Billions with a Big “B” folks).
I haven’t even included the Parking Costs!!- About $10,000,000,000 a year. I also haven’t added back the required Infrastructure support Costs of about $2,000 per employee per year=$110,000,000,000 Billion. Net about $515, 000,000,000 Billion.
Okay, now we’re starting to talk real money here. But all that isn’t without cost, right? So let’s deduct the cost of a well thought-out, configured and equipped 10 x 12 home office of $5,000 (that’s probably high, but allows for needed amenities and furniture). Annual Operating Cost? About $4000, including maintenance and utilities, and equivalent rent. (Builders are starting to get the picture; they are designing Home Offices in new construction as independent rooms in the design, or replacements for Dens). Wait! We would need the same equipment in a modern office designed for the era of Internet Business models, right? So it’s a wash. It is paid for by the employer company, as it should be, at a cost of 50,000,000 x $5,000 = $250,000,000,000 Billion, a first year savings of…get ready…here it comes…over $500,000,000,000 Billion!
Fuel for miles not driven as noted above $26,000,000,000 Billion; Commercial office expenses not paid =$50,000,000,000 Billion, minimum. Wear and tear on cars? Using U.S. Government figures of about 48.5 cents a mile. Road maintenance costs?
Commuting time value saved (60% of commuters-72 million- drive an average of 27 minutes each way; 26%-27 million- drive an average of 56 minutes each way; the rest commute by public transportation, or already work at home -4 million estimated. Value of saved time at $20.00 hour (Low estimate) One Billion a work-day, $222,000,000,000 Billion a year!( http://www.census.gov/prod/2004pubs/c2kbr-33.pdf)
Pollution not emitted? 500,000,000 tons!! -One Trillion pounds! http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/toxics/420r07002chp2.pdf Cost? Incalculable, by my opinion, but Cap and Trade values just the CO 2 emissions at $15-50 dollars per ton, making 500,000,000 Million tons worth… $7.5 Billion-25.0 Billion dollars! Could that be right? If so, WOW!
We can’t continue to overlook the advantages of technology in making life and work easier and more productive, while at the same time relieving some of the stress of work life on family and self; Cloud Commuting allows us to have myriad benefits including reducing stress (what’s that worth?), increased productivity (what’s that worth?), increased personal satisfaction with work and society (what’s that worth?).
Reduce pollution and need for autos in commuting; over 130,000,000 million people go to work each day in the U.S. and 97,000,000+ get there by car. Cloud Commuting IS the future for all of us and for society, with all that implies for technology opportunities.
We should work very hard to make sure that company, institutional, commercial and government plans include the opportunity for Cloud Commuting in all design and strategy considerations. Companies even now are on the cusp with 4 million workers Telecommuting; it’s only a change in thinking and equipping “home workers” to really do their jobs through Cloud Commuting that will start the revolution.
As I write, more than a few technology-based companies are strategically planning large Cloud Commuting platforms for working groups; a large commercial enterprise is already planning a Cloud Upgrade to their internal Network. If you think of the types of jobs that Cloud Commuting could replace in “cattle car” offices; Order processing, Claims processing, in fact any job that doesn’t require hands-on labor, and you begin to see the opportunity. Google is working on it; that’s part of the thinking in their Chrome Operating System; so is Microsoft (Azure), and the Open Computer Systems-Firefox, Linux, Unix and others. I also suspect that may be part of the reason for Google’s desire to build their own Fiber Optic, 100Gig-capable Internet in a test city or two; to start a Cloud Commute framework.
Cisco’s Telepresence allows “commuting” by Conferencing around the world; so does Polycom and Go-to-Meeting and others on the boards. The technology is here (except the Broadband capacity-we need lot’s more!), the “associate” desire is definitely here.
Management? More than a little concerned about the loss of control, security issues, the “power” that large infrastructure generates, and more. As these issues are solved and minimized ( the very technology that creates the Cloud environment solves the Management (in) security issues), the potential cost savings and productivity increases, associate satisfaction, and societal benefits will overcome Management reluctance, with great rewards for those who seize this opportunity.
At a net savings of over $900 Billion (That’s Billions with a Big ‘B” folks!) dollars (some would calculate that as potential profit!-Share with associates with bonuses, salary increases?), Cloud Commuting IS coming, and soon. The economics are just too strong in favor of Cloud Workplace Evolution to ignore; and not just in the Workplace, but in Education and Health as well, with equal or more savings, plus increased satisfaction and productivity in each category.
America is falling behind the rest of the world in Internet leadership; Cloud is a way back to leadership!