Collaboration in the Cloud
Collaboration and cloud computing are a perfect match. However, the integration is taking much time for its effectuation. Powerful web-based collaborative tools like SharePoint that have been into existence for over a decade are still being ignored by most organizations, as they wish to remain in their comfort zone by depending merely on email for collaboration. For most knowledge workers, email still remains the go-to tool for collaboration. The main reasons for email being the primary source of collaboration include: its convenience, its ease of use, its widespread usage, and is still working.
If you as a business owner do not make use of the advantages offered by the cloud collaboration tools, you would probably encounter disadvantages such as: only a single individual will be able to work with the specific version of a document or file at once, or would end up with several, conflicting versions of the document. In case of profoundly standardized industries, such conflicting versions of documents can lead to issues more than just selecting the type of document version to be used. At the same time, rearranging presentations, documents, files, videos, etc., cuts down productivity. This type of sharing makes possible for only a single working style. In order to improve productivity, employees must work sequentially, in solitude. You may think about having your entire team gather around a single PC in your workstation, which is rather a distraction than collaboration.
The Emergence of Cloud Computing
The emergence of cloud computing is transforming enterprise collaboration fundamentally. Some of the most fundamental tools like Word and Outlook are changing into cloud-based tools. With the advent of cloud-based collaboration techniques, most of the primary obstructions that blocked the avenue for collaboration, such as upscale investment for infrastructure, have been eliminated. Cloud-based collaboration generally offers pay-as-you-go usage of its services and also allows workers to continue using the same tools they have been using, with just an addition of cloud-based features in them.
Management is made more agile in several ways with the help of cloud. This includes the process of outsourcing and hiring, file sharing, communication, scheduling, and task delegation.
Outsourcing and Hiring
Until recent years, the situation of your company would have been that you were limited to recruiting employees from regional talent pools, in addition to those workers who are ready to relocate to the region of your company. This simply meant that you did not have sufficient access to a large talent pool and you were unable to choose the best talent for the best price possible. The cloud augments your chances of remote hiring and outsourcing, offering you the ability to associate with skillful workers who fall within the reach of mobile networks and the internet. Now, with the help of cloud computing, you can contact best talent from anywhere around the globe, instead of having them come to you.
File sharing has never been easier, with the advent of cloud-based collaboration techniques. In addition to collaborating with each other over the cloud, your employees can also remotely share files using the cloud. Cloud storage supports files of different formats, including PDF files, Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, spreadsheets, and also audio and video files. All these types of files can be stored remotely on the cloud for access and sharing purposes. With this type of collaboration using the cloud, team members who are located in different geographic regions can easily work with each other on a common virtual workplace.
With the cloud, you and your colleagues can communicate with each other regardless of your geographic locations. Without regard to the current location of each of your workers and the types of devices they use, all of you can collaborate through the cloud and share instant messages (IMs), emails, and can also perform important video conferences. All these types of communications can be carried out on any types of internet-connected device, such as desktop PCs, laptops, tablets, and also on smartphones. Hence, you and your staff no longer have to be present in your office cabin to gather for an official meeting.
The extensibility offered by the cloud enables the different teams in your office to work with each other on any shift of their choice, even if they are located in countries with different time zones. You and your employees no longer have to assemble in your office at 9 in the morning. You can be enjoying a vacation with your family while your team members are working on their contribution of a project in another part of the world, thus maintaining the level of productivity as effective as before.
As mentioned before, if you are in a different part of the world while your team members are working on a particular project, you can delegate tasks to every member of your team by using the virtual collaboration tools on the cloud. This on-demand flexibility offered by the cloud also allows you to select the members of your team, assign access to specific files to selected members, and assign members who will be receiving updates on specific projects as well.
On the whole, cloud-based collaboration tools provide:
- A secure extranet to your company, through which employees can collaborate with each other and also securely share files or documents with your customers, clients, and partners.
- Secure content synchronization across all the devices used by you and your employees, in addition to the maintenance of enterprise scalability and control.
- Secure mobile access to all your important business files and folders without having to use a separate VPN connection.
- Secure repository to store all your files and folders, and access them from anywhere, at any time, and on any device that is connected to the internet.