Not so fantastic Mr Fox: How the cloud enables British business to work harder than ever

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During a speech at a Conservative Way Forward event on September 9, Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary, said that Britain had become “too lazy and too fat”, with businessmen preferring “golf on a Friday afternoon” to trying to boost the country’s prosperity.

While somewhat diffused by Downing Street later as “clearly private views”, his statement was certainly thought provoking.

As the CEO of a company that provides cloud-based IT services to hundreds of British businesses, I suggest we have a good ‘bird’s eye view’ of evolving working patterns. Besides manufacturers, our customers include professionals such as lawyers, accountants and recruiters, as well as financial service providers, leisure centres and automobile repair centres. And yes, we also service golf courses.

Our system enables customers to log in from anywhere – golf course, office, home, coffee shop, even when on holiday – not only to view emails or access files but, if needs be, access their entire suite of business applications.

When customers log into their cloud server it is not to surf the internet, but to work. We can share that:

  • Customers log in at all times of the day (even at 3am)
  • Busy usage typically starts at 7:30am and ends at around 6:30pm (as opposed to the conventional 9 to 5)
  • We regularly find customers calling us while working from home

It is apparent that in today’s day and age work habits have changed; namely that the clear division that might have existed in the past between work time and private time has become blurred. With cloud computing, one doesn’t need to sit by one’s desk in order to work. A manager might go to the golf course for a round of nine holes from 12pm to 2pm and continue working until 9pm from home.

I wouldn’t call that person lazy. I am proud that my customers can have flexibility in the way that they work and I know that an efficient IT solution such as ours enhances their options.

As a final thought, and although Mr Fox was referring to businesses, I would like to add a word about the UK’s charity sector. We have dozens of charity customers, and we find that their employees care about the cause that they are serving and are admirably dedicated to their job.

We feel privileged to serve such a hard working clientele.

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