The emergence of cloud computing is about to change the way we work.
The cloud hosts software and storage on massive remote servers around the world, allowing people to work from home computers on assembly-line tasks in competition with thousands of others.
“The whole industry is in very early days,” says trailblazing Australian entrepreneur Matt Barrie, founder of Freelancer.com. “We are on the verge of transforming society and how we run business.”
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Customer service, software development, writing, marketing and design are just some of the sectors ripe for this revolution.
Rather than housing and staffing a call centre, for example, an increasing number of businesses use services such as LiveOps, which employ individual freelancers as needed.
Most live in developing countries, but many thousands work from homes in North America and Europe.
As the freelancers work from a remote location, businesses don’t have to pay office costs, benefits or pensions.
Freelancer.com, started in 2004, credits itself with 2.8 million user-workers and 1.2 million jobs to-date. It recently featured a posting from “Bonnielee,” of Renfrew, Ont., who was looking for someone to ghostwrite a novel in seven to 10 days, for between $150 and $200.
Matt Barrie says 34 per cent of the freelancers on his site live in India. About 11 per cent live in the U.S.
The English-speaking developed world is the largest source of work.