We live in a fast-paced world. New technologies are emerging every day, and it seems like there's no time to stop, but the reality is that we need to make time for these changes. Cloud computing — and the culture change it's fostering — is not just a trend that will eventually go away, it's a paradigm shift that we need to prepare for now. 

As the trend toward remote work digitalization changes the traditional 9-5 mindset and office culture, a new corporate culture — the cloud culture — born out of the digital transformation has risen. The cloud has become a competitive advantage for corporate leaders. Cloud computing is the future, and it will change how we do business in the same way that the internet did 20 years ago. 

Companies are already switching from the traditional office culture to the cloud culture and finding success in doing so. Here are some thoughts that will hopefully make the transition a little easier.

Get Security Right the First Time

Cloud adoption enables information to move faster around your organization while also streamlining communication with clients. To succeed, you need to change your mindset and embrace digital tools and digital enablement. However, a mindset change isn't the only thing you need to succeed in the cloud culture. The main challenge is ensuring that all the necessary security steps are followed. According to Sophos, 70% of the cloud organizations' hosting data have experienced a security breach. 

It is critical to establish the proper security protocols  and controls as they will help you better monitor your cloud for any threats. "As companies expand the use of cloud and transition to a more distributed workforce, they often overlook essential data security controls associated with collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams or Slack. This opens more security vulnerabilities and leaves organizations open to a possible data breach." said Wade Tibke, Senior VP of Marketing, at El Segundo, CA.-based Saviynt.

Related Article: 6 Digital Transformation Challenges Enterprises Need To Overcome

Make Use of Virtual Offices

Virtual offices are a new trend that enables companies to create a virtual office space that functions just like the average brick and mortar office. Virtual offices like Gather, for example, create an immersive, video game-like environment where employees can interact with one another in a virtualized version of your company that you can brand.

Learning Opportunities

Virtual offices have shown great potential, and other companies have leveraged video game environments to create virtual offices and company events. Still, make these changes gradually, as jumping too fast to virtual environments or gamified experiences could be too much for certain employees for whom Zoom and Slack communication would suffice. 

Create a Good Technology Onboarding Policy

Another essential point to consider when transitioning to a cloud office culture is that not all employees are tech-savvy. This goes beyond age and generational differences; it's a matter of how productively you use technology. Harriet Chan, Marketing Director at Singapore-based CocoFinder, shares her thoughts on this particular point. She says that "having a technology onboarding policy is necessary when shifting to the cloud office culture. Having one will ensure you can seamlessly integrate new members of your team with different digital literacy skills without disrupting the everyday work of the rest of the team.

A policy of digital onboarding can also ensure that you protect your company against cybercriminals and untrained employees who could expose your company to vulnerabilities. Terence Runge, CISO at Redwood Shores, CA.-based Reltio explains the risks by saying that "virtual offices are susceptible to social engineering attacks and new employees who aren't still acquainted with the rest of the company are more prone to reveal information to people they think work with them, which calls for new security protocols."

Additional Security Best Practices

Cloud office culture is here to stay, and if you want to reap the benefits of a cloud office environment, you need to learn how to protect yourself. Here are some security best practices that our experts shared with us.

  • Beware of social engineering attacks: Let your team know who is who as early as possible to prevent imposters from posing as members of your company to extract information and credentials from unsuspecting employees. 
  • Keep your devices locked and attended: Runge suggests that you "prevent your employees from forming bad habits like leaving their sessions logged or leaving their devices unattended in public places or their home offices."
  • Adopt a zero-trust philosophy: Tibke suggests that you "adopt a zero-trust philosophy that includes vetting identities before any sort of access is granted." You can do this everywhere, from your Slack channel to your intranets and digital offices.

The rapid shift to remote work and accelerated cloud adoption has exacerbated old — and introduced new — security challenges for many organizations. The transition from the traditional office culture to the cloud office culture is exciting and promising. Still, before you start, you need to set a solid security foundation to protect your organization and operations.