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The Human Cloud: How technology adoption is changing the workforce

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Noorin LadhaniBy: Noorin Ladhani, Platformation Testing Coordinator, Framework

Editor's Note: In December, Noorin attended the Net:Work conference run by Gigaom, which was all about how technology is changing the way we work. This is her perspective on the conference and what nonprofits can learn. This post was originally posted on the Platformation blog.

There were quite a few lessons learned from Gigaom's Net:Work conference that can be applied to the non-profit sector.  The conference focused on how cloud computing has changed the way we work and created a dialogue around technology adoption and tomorrow's workforce.

1. Think Data First
Much of the conversation at the Network conference centered around being fluid and allowing individuals within organizations to choose the tools they want to live in.  However, in the context of non-profits my advice would be: think data first.  Organizations can create an environment of fluidity and choice without compromising data by creating an organizational IT infrastructure of open architecture tools that integrate with other existing popular tools. For example, allow employees to use whatever conference meeting tool they prefer and document their notes using whatever word processing tool choose prefer but enforce that all notes must be uploaded to the company's CRM.    This gives employees the option to work with the tools that allow them to be most effective but avoids data silos because all vital information is stored in one place.

2. Leverage Technologies and create job positions that allow for Remote Workers 
We have the type of technology today which allows us change the traditional workforce dynamic and evolve into something a little more fluid.  With a growing force of independent workers traditional jobs are becoming projects which can be completed from almost anywhere.  This is a great opportunity for non-profits with limited budgets to when possible splice and divide work opportunities into smaller tasks and divide them between a number of independent contractors.  This technology also allows us to hire and retain talent without being challenged by geographic limitations.  This is a good time for organizations to re-evaluate current and future job opportunities and build in job opportunities that can be completed in the office and remotely.

3. Think outside of the boardroom 
For more creative positions consider allowing your employees to share a co-working space.  Co-working spaces are workplaces usually made up of freelancers but a few larger organizations have started renting co-working spaces for smaller departments or groups of employees to help facilitate creativity.  Co-working spaces also provide a place to focus outside of the office so it might be worth considering renting a desk at a local co-working space that is open to employees on a rotating basis.

4. Be device agnostic
Given the option, not all employees will choose to have a work-device.  However, allowing them to use their personal device and live within their own mobile environment might increase people's desire working remotely. Remaining device agnostic may facilitate increased adoption.

Noorin Ladhani is the Platformation Testing Coordinator with Framework. As part of her role she is testing over 200+ online apps which makes her a very happy girl, her work can be found at: www.platformation.ca. She currently pens a Social Media column for Social Policy Magazine and writes for Techvibes. Noorin lives to travel and has traveled across the world to countries such as Italy, Morocco, Tanzania, United Kingdom, and the US. She blogs about her travel adventures and can be found at www.noorinladhani.com.