In preparation for the Annual Meeting 2020, the World Economic Forum (WEF) released a report on the rapidly increasing population of cloud platform workers. Cloud workers rely on cloud-based business applications to do their jobs, using the browser as a central access point. According to the WEF, global spending on cloud work rose 43% in 2018, and cloud workers now represent 0.5% to 2% of the workforce of advanced economies.
Other key findings include:
- Thirty-six of the sixty largest cloud platform companies are headquartered in the U.S. However, the platform workforce is drawn from more than 180 countries around the globe.
- Ridesharing firms Uber and Didi Chuxing represent approximately two-thirds of the platform economy by gross spend.
- Platform work spans multiple industries and skills.
A Forrester report published in 2018 reaffirms these findings. They reported that Technology innovation, shifting employee preferences, and evolving business expectations have propelled one in four information workers (26%) to become cloud workers.
The growth in cloud workers also brings challenges for employers. To this end, several cloud platform firms have committed to the WEC “Charter of Principle for Good Platform Work” which addresses diversity and inclusion, fair working conditions, safety and wellbeing, and data management.
As more companies look to cloud platforms to introduce new offerings and increase competitive advantage, issues of remote worker management, alternative compensation schemes, location-specific labor regulations and workforce training on new technologies must be addressed.
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