The Cloud has revolutionized the way in which businesses collaborate and communicate in a working environment. No longer is there the need to physically transport documents from one place to the next, or to converse with clients face-to-face. Instead, millions of businesses are embracing the use of cloud-based software in order to make daily real-time collaboration easier and more secure.
And so, how exactly has business collaboration evolved over recent years? And how will it continue to do so in the future?
An interesting statistic from Salesforce shows that 86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures, suggesting that collaboration is extremely valuable within business and should be taken seriously.
From face-to-face to online collaboration tools
Up until the last few years, face-to-face meetings and conferences (complete with whiteboards) have always been the main ways in which businesses have collaborated and communicated with colleagues, clients and partners in real-time. It was seen as being the most effective way of generating new ideas, working on projects and closing deals.
However, since the growth of cloud computing and, more specifically, cloud-based software (SaaS – or, software-as-a-service), many businesses have begun the transition from physical to cloud – whether that’s for information sharing, hosting meetings, or collaborating on projects. (Read: What is Cloud Computing?)
This transition is due to the benefits in which businesses are experiencing since making the switch. (Read: Why should you implement a Cloud solution in 2017) One notable example being that geographical location becomes less of an issue with online collaboration tools. Businesses can come together, virtually and in real-time, with worldwide-based clients, without ever needing to meet in person. This is arguably a cost-effective and time-effective benefit for both the company and client.
Email isn’t the only answer
Before the rise of real-time online collaboration tools, email had also been one of the most popular ways of sharing and communicating in business. As email is accessible from the Internet, users can swiftly pass on information from person to person in seconds. However, email can often cause delays in productivity when used for anything more than back-and-forth communication between two individuals.
An online business collaboration tool is much more appropriate for sharing multiple large files and communicating with several clients and colleagues at once, all from within a much more secure environment. Because unlike email, business collaboration tools offer increased security, real-time collaboration and unlimited file upload size. (Read: Are businesses expecting too much from email?)
The future of business collaboration
From reduced IT costs, increased security and improved mobility; the use of online tools for day-to-day business collaboration will continue to grow, as millions are exposed to the benefits of the Cloud. (Read: Cloud computing – do the benefits outweigh the drawbacks?) It won’t take long for the rest to follow – in fact, by 2020, 78% of small businesses are predicted to be “fully adapted” to cloud computing, according to a report from Intuit. That’s more than double the 2014 adoption rate of 37%.
If you're a business owner or employee considering the use of the cloud for business collaboration, or are currently using it; here's an infographic on how cloud collaboration is impacting today's businesses.
Online business collaboration tools enable colleagues, clients and partners to come together from across geographical and organisational borders, unlocking unlimited potential for flexible and efficient collaboration and communication. You can find out more about business collaboration by heading over to Clinked’s information page here.