Cloud collaboration: what is it and how can it help your organization?

by Mike Sharkey

Cloud collaboration: what is it and how can it help your organization?

Businesses are increasingly using cloud-based collaboration tools to bring together teams from all over the world.

According to the latest State of the Cloud report, 81% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy, which includes the use of both public and private clouds.

What is cloud collaboration?

Cloud collaboration enables people to work simultaneously on documents that live ‘in the cloud’ – so you can access files from anywhere with an internet connection.

The start of a cloud collaboration process involves one user creating a file or document and giving access to other members of the team. Anyone who has access can make changes to the document at any time, including when other people are editing or viewing it. Any changes that you make save and sync – so every user sees the same version of the project whenever (and wherever) they view it.

This means that teams in different locations can collaborate on documents together. And there are other benefits too:

Say goodbye to email attachments

It used to be the case that you’d have to email separate attachments to each person participating in a project if they were working remotely. This makes version control hard. People end up with several different versions of the same document which complicates things – parts of the project can get missed or people duplicate the same work.

Cloud collaboration tools simplify the process by keeping files in a central location. Employees can edit and review the same document without having to send an updated version to everyone in the team.

Equal Participation with other team members

Some remote employees can feel left out of the conversation. All too often they think they don’t have the same opportunities as others to share their input, which isn’t good for team morale.

With cloud collaboration tools, every employee has access to projects and can offer their viewpoint and creativity. They can also share ideas in informal online meetings.

Work as a team in real-time

With the rise in flexible working, employees are no longer expected to stick to the traditional 9-5 Monday-Friday. Teams can work on projects at any time of the day and don’t even have to be in the same country. Edits and updates appear in real time and everyone who has access to the document can read them.

Using the right collaboration platforms is also important. It’s particularly useful if your platforms integrate with the tools you already use. Existing cloud-based tools such as Jira and BlueJeans can be paired with platforms like Workplace, for example. This helps speed up collaboration among your teams and helps you get the very best out of the various tools your organization uses every day.

Brainstorm ideas better

When your teams are disparate and far-flung, it can be difficult to get everyone together to discuss ideas. The cloud can be a valuable brainstorming facility – enabling you to share thoughts and have productive interactions. The cloud is an ideal medium to develop innovative ideas and facilitate better communication between staff, project managers, and other contributors.

Access large files easily

Sending and receiving large files can slow you down. Most email servers can’t handle documents bigger than a few megabytes. With a cloud-based collaboration platform, you can share audio, video and other large files with ease. Because you’re simply storing them in the cloud, there’s no need to ‘send’ them. People can go directly to the cloud storage service to find the file they need.

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