Get Your Head In The Virtual Clouds

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Two interesting trends have started to emerge among administrative professionals. The first is an increase in the number of administrative professionals who are now working on a freelance basis, either by choice or due to the economy. I don't have any objective data for this, but the evidence can be seen in the number of postings related to this subject in the IAAP Web Community and on our LinkedIn group page. All Things Admin founder Julie Perrine, an expert on being a virtual administrative professional, was certainly busy and popular during the Office Expo at EFAM 2012 in July. Her booth was packed with administrative professionals interested in cutting their ties with the traditional office.

The other trend I see developing is the need for administrative professionals to master cloud computing. Cloud computing essentially means using tools online that used to be done on your machine's hard drive. It's not a new development, but it is beginning to be widely adopted across our personal and professional lives. Think Google Docs. It's wise to get ahead of the curve on this because cloud computing is more flexible and efficient than traditional software. Businesses are going to want all their office employees to be comfortable using these tools. (Check out the piece on cloud computing in the "On the Run" section of the August/September OfficePro.)

These two trends towards more virtual administrative professionals and cloud computing come together in a useful post by Best Vendor blogger Jeff Giesea. Best Vendor, a site that makes software recommendations based on peer reviews, asked freelance workers to rate their favorite cloud computing applications. The company then compiled those results in an infographic. It also includes a list of well regarded apps that are still not widely used. Even if you're not a freelancer, this would be a great place to start if you want a primer on the computing options that are available on the Web.

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