By Drew Carter, Currents Studio Director, H. Hendy Associates
Cloud-based solutions are transforming the modern workplace as we speak. And more than ever, the Los Angeles office market is poised to take a leadership role in advancing and advocating for this momentous shift. With its ever-growing collection of tech startups, Los Angeles’ Silicon Beach has quickly become one of the world’s largest technology hubs. The impact of an increasingly tech-savvy, forward-thinking workforce can be felt throughout the County. Likewise, building owners have a unique opportunity to capitalize on Los Angeles’ current dedication to improving its communications infrastructure. Companies that operate out of office buildings currently spend a lot of time, effort and resources to adapt specific portions of a building to meet their communication needs. While the Los Angeles market has already seen major improvements to its communications infrastructure, it can still take months to establish the necessary network connections for new office locations. Likewise, from a cost perspective, wiring up a new space can cost tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, when equipment and technology-specific construction costs are taken into account. Tomorrow’s tenants will not tolerate this scenario.
Building owners have the opportunity to develop smarter infrastructure to attract and retain tenants, tighten lead times for build-outs, reduce capital expenses, and provide a higher caliber of services around networking and technology infrastructure – all while generating an additional revenue stream. Spaces can become optimally cloud-enabled when they are physically built so that tenants can easily plug their individual business into enterprise-grade networking and Internet services. These are the Cloud Spaces of tomorrow, and buildings with this level of infrastructure deliver both flexibility and crucial strategic and monetary advantages to their tenants.
When building owners partner with telecom providers to establish these services, they can also transform the building to function as a hub, turning them into nodes within a Metropolitan Cloud system of their own. With the right initiative, Los Angeles could become a fully meshed Metropolitan Area Network, facilitating business communication in unprecedented ways.
A model like this would change how businesses are built, organized and operated. Starting with an office space itself, a tenant would be free to design and implement new ways of working. This could include adopting more fluid and collaborative office designs, such as activity-based workspaces or work anywhere programs without incurring the high costs or risks associated with major construction events or technology investments.
The cloud technologies we are all familiar with have fundamentally changed the architecture of our personal activity in ways we might not fully appreciate. The information we need and the services we use, exist independently of the devices we carry and are largely free from needing our care and maintenance. This model can be mirrored in the physical environment of our businesses to not only support business more effectively but to advance capabilities by eliminating the need for dedicating attention and resources to establishing what has become a basic utility.
This consolidation of resources would result in providing better utilities with faster connections and better service, all with less impact to tenants and building owners via construction interruptions.
Benefits would include:
- Fewer costs, shorter lead times for changes, and better services for business owners
- Turn-key VPN/remote access
- Pre-installed Wi-Fi, engineered for optimal coverage and throughput
- Easy site-to-site connectivity with other cloud-compatible buildings
- Full A/V with easy connections for meeting and collaboration areas
- Faster internet access
Businesses could move and expand or shrink and consolidate without the disruption, costs, and complexity with which we have grown accustomed. This concept is enabled by placing flexible infrastructure into the building so that reconfiguring connectivity and services for businesses is easy and fast. It becomes a programming change, not a construction event. Changes are done in software, not hardware.
This change is a likely natural progression of technology advancement. More than any other major metropolitan area, the Los Angeles of today is poised to lead the way in freeing our businesses to operate with the same agility and reduced complexity at work as we do with our own personal technology on the go. The result will be a much more strategic approach, where the costly delays that building owners currently face when we move, change or grow are dramatically reduced, and time and resources are conserved for truly significant and exciting ventures that push businesses forward.