Late last year, Redbooth sat down with IDC’s Research Manager of Enterprise Social Networks and Collaborative Technologies, Vanessa Thompson, to discuss the impact that cloud collaboration has on worker productivity. We learned a lot from Ms. Thompson’s analysis and want to share some of the highlights:
Why There’s a Need for Cloud Collaboration
Despite the prevalence of email and other online communication tools, collaboration within businesses is often lacking. In fact, an over-reliance on email makes collaboration even more difficult, as crucial information is left behind in user’s email boxes.
Part of the problem is that older-generation collaboration solutions simply don’t work with a scattered workforce. As Ms. Thompson stated:
“Traditional collaboration solutions were built with a rich internal organizational experience in mind and do not easily extend these services to mobile workers or out of existing office locations.”
Centralizing collaboration services, while making them accessible to off-site workers, is now crucial to developing effective collaboration processes. Encouraging workers to operate in the cloud is the most effective way to make sure that no employee, no matter how mobile, is out of the loop.
Challenges to Cloud Collaboration
Reduced IT budgets means fewer resources for the development of collaboration tools. In response, departments end up adopting collaboration technologies and processes within their department and without any IT input.
The problem with this approach is that while team members might successfully use these collaboration tools within their department, they face challenges when trying to work with other departments, clients, or outside contractors.
Getting Cloud Collaboration Going in Your Organization
Effective collaboration requires a major cultural shift within an organization, which means that leadership needs to get on board with centralizing collaboration efforts.
Ms. Thompson notes the importance of centralization in cloud collaboration development:
“It’s important to centralize to a degree and keep workflow simple. Some information sources need to be very specialized, but ideally, you want to centralize business information, such as user profiles.”
Without centralization, teams face the challenge of trying to negotiate collaboration processes between themselves. Teams will also use a hodge-podge of collaboration tools, further complicating workflow and creating opportunities for team members to lose access to information. This hurts productivity.
Ultimately, businesses need to select one collaboration product for the entire organization. A well-designed cloud collaboration system connects your entire organization while allowing individual teams and departments to develop individual networks and processes for sharing specialized information.
To learn more about how cloud collaboration improves productivity, check out research conducted by Ms. Thompson.