The Cloud: Reinventing Enterprise Collaboration

IDG survey points to need for collaboration across all business units and an end to spot solutions

It is no surprise to anyone working in virtually any business anywhere in the world today, that knowledge is power. Having access to the most accurate, up-to-date corporate information, and the ability to easily collaborate on that information gives organizations the means to make decisions that drive the most positive business outcomes.

Collaboration and content sharing are not, of course, new concepts. But cloud computing has changed the nature of collaboration, content sharing, document storage and project management to enable more efficient, faster-acting and cost-effective enterprises.

According to a new study by IDG Research, which surveyed more than 260 large-enterprise IT IT managers, the vast majority of knowledge workers (86 percent) placed a very high level of importance on collaborating with internal coworkers and external stakeholders, and having access to the most up-to-date corporate information.

This kind of collaboration happens only when information can be easily accessed internally and externally, regardless of where users are, what networks they are on or what devices they are using. Cloud-based delivery models enable massively scalable document storage, collaboration and project management solutions for large enterprises.

It’s Easier in the Cloud

Cloud-based content storage and management is simple to use. After uploading files to a centralized storage server in the cloud, users can access, manage, share and view all of their files (regardless of media type) on the Web. But it’s more than large-scale file storage. Cloud-based content management enables Web-based project management, including task creation and assignment, discussion areas, a unified repository for comments, and links to project-related Web sites.

The benefits of collaboration are many, and include increased productivity, better informed decision-making, better alignment between teams and upper management, increased innovation and competitiveness, and
better visibility into ongoing projects.

Organizations that have made the transition to new cloud-based models have realized massive productivity gains.

CUNY Hunter College is a case in point. Researchers at Hunter College found themselves emailing files back and forth with external researchers in an attempt to coordinate efforts. External partners had a hard time accessing the files, which hindered progress on the team’s group work.

So the college began uploading materials to the cloud, creating new folders to post meeting minutes, agendas, documents and timelines for future progress. In short, the service acts as a Web-based workspace, offering a seamless way to centralize content into an easily accessible repository.

You can’t collaborate if you can’t share files,” said John O’Neill, professor of counselor education at CUNY. “You can’t collaborate if you can’t centralize your materials somewhere and access them when you’re not together as a group.”

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