Cloud Collaboration Fires up Infrastructure Strategy

By CIOReview | Monday, September 26, 2016

Before the outbreak in ‘cloud’, collaboration within IT required complicated network installations and hefty infrastructural costs. However, the traditional model was replaced by a different kind of collaboration methodology, where applications could be hosted in data centers and made accessible through a web browser or mobile device. The cloud-based collaboration allows to practice flexibility of work in real-time.

People involved in an IT project or have IT as a pillar to their established business, want to make right decisions to realize their unique infrastructure strategies. Let’s understand it here about how to embark on a collaborative cloud IT infrastructure.

Challenges in Cloud Collaboration

Observing the rate of growth of cloud computing market worldwide, Gartner anticipates adoption of cloud computing to touch $250 Bn mark by 2017. To have a cogent conversation about running new applications in cloud to meet the fluctuating demands for bandwidth, there are inventory of affairs to look at.

1. There can be steep learning curve for cloud collaboration.

2. One of the prominent challenges can be difficulty in evaluating the ROI of cloud collaboration tools importantly due to sheer amount of apps already in use.

3. If new tools are added, it will create more pockets of storage and spread information across the organization, compromising the data security.

4. The majority of users find it uncomfortable to cope with new IT tools. #5 Many senior leaders apprehend to shift their personal or corporate information to the cloud, which may result in enforced laws, data loss and similar other risks, according to expert reviews.

These worries and lack of exposure moot a real challenge in embracing cloud collaboration solution and build their faith in it.

"To create an initial collaborative strategy, it is best to use a metric (like TCEP) to take a snapshot of where you are. Then, survey the organization to see where the most pressing collaborative issues are,” says David Coleman, author of four books on collaboration and social technologies and founder of Collaborative Strategies.

Emerging Cloud Collaboration Features

Single sign-on (SSO): Numerous applications need multiple accounts, and as many passwords to store or remember. Single sign-on (SSO) tool gain access to all the apps and eliminate the choice of logging to each of them separately—memorizing one password is enough.

Business on Video: Businesses need real-time meetings and speedy interaction with the people working at different location of the world. “Skype for Business” , for example, provides personal online meeting built for businesses—start a group chat, PowerPoint collaboration or screen sharing, meeting recording and many more. ‘Slack’ is recommended for chat and quick file sharing.

As a fact, many cloud apps can integrate with each other without a hitch; collaboration tools connect in a corporate setting quite smoothly with apps like Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Google Apps, Salesforce, and others.

Data Retention Policies: Data loss is one of the biggest concerns for management across various organizations. Businesses demand strict data retention policies. Integrating with third-party apps for data backup is also an option.

How to Turn a Corner for Organization with A Little Knowledge on Fresh Collaboration Tools?

Organization must facilitate an onboard training strategy for scalability—employees can go over new features associated with the tools and speak their mind for clarity. Regular audit for transformation in workflow and performance is necessary to identify loopholes in the process, if any. As far as cloud security is concerned, a lot of smart solutions can be found amongst various vendors. But, do your research and understand all the options offered by the cloud provider. Ensure updates of tools and regular access of policies around risk management of data.

Moreover, many collaboration tools which involve basic functions are compatible to smartphones, too. This enables employees to complete their job from anywhere. The key here is listening to the feedback on new tools by them. This is far more effective and efficient for organizations; compelling business leaders to build an environment of passionate and creative contributors. Ultimately, everything will move quickly in organization—from planning to execution.