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Cloud Strategy and Collaboration Software

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Cloud Strategy and Collaboration Software

· Cloud Zone ·
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We’re going back to the classics this month, with the latest enterprise collaboration news round-up focussing on cloud strategy and considerations and benefits when it comes to implementing collaboration software.

Mashable shared an infographic it created in conjunction with Hewlett Packard, which compiles data and research suggesting that the use of hybrid and private cloud computing is on the rise. The article quotes statistics from Rightscale, which states that 82% of enterprises have a multi-cloud strategy already, and of these 14% use multiple private clouds, 13% use multiple public clouds, and 55% use hybrid clouds. Mashable quotes Technology Business Research, which states that “there is continued migration of enterprise vendors in mature markets such as the U.S. to hybrid and private cloud platforms to provide software vendors an opportunity to generate adoption for management technologies, as customers require next-generation tools to manage heterogeneous IT infrastructures efficiently.”

In his article for eWEEK, Chris Preimesberger outlines 10 ways IT and business leaders must collaborate on cloud strategies. Chris explains that a decision to use cloud services is no longer simply down to the IT department. During the last nine years, he says, entire businesses have become necessarily immersed in IT strategies in order to harness the cloud for economics, innovation, operations and growth. He shares a slide show which provides advice for how technical and business leaders can collaborate to build a secure cloud strategy. The slide show states that usage indicate that private clouds are expected to grow at double the rate of public cloud, a result of ongoing concerns about data security and privacy.

Gary Audin asks the question cloud economics or flexibility? in his article for No Jitter. Gary explains that although the cost of cloud can be attractive, that might not be the real draw for enterprises. He states that knowing what costs to consider as part of a cloud service implementation is vital to making the right decision about cloud. Gary points out the benefits of the cloud as being far more than simply a matter of cost. He explains that the cloud allows rapid response for an enterprise as it contends with change due to situations such as staff growth or reduction, market fluctuations, financial limitations, or new opportunities. Above all, Gary explains, the cloud delivers flexibility and it is this which makes it the most attractive option for enterprises.

In his article for MSP Mentor, Michael Brown reveals the result of a recent report on cloud adoption in the enterprise. The report, by Skyhigh Networks, revealed that enterprise cloud adoption grew by 43% in 2014. Michael highlights findings on the file sharing front, revealing that 37 percent of employees were found to be uploading sensitive business data to consumer file sharing services. Consumer file sharing services are one element of a growing trend towards BYOC (bring your own cloud, content and collaboration).

Robert Bamforth explains that BYOC is an evolution of BYOD (bring your own device) which posed a challenge to IT departments since the rise of the smartphone. Robert explains that BYOC is a new challenge for IT departments in controlling their organisation’s digital assets while liberating employee productivity and information sharing. Robert states that the BYOC conundrum should change as enterprise-strength security features and tools continue to evolve to have more consumer-like interfaces, which will make asking employees to use enterprise tools much easier. He gives some suggestions to help enterprises in the mean time: understand the appeal of consumer tools, make sure everyone understands security risks, forget trying to apply strong rules to trivial information, get a mobile-ready solution, look for and pre-plug data leaks, and above all don’t stop collaboration if it’s happening.

In his article for ZDNet, Dion Hinchcliffe reflects on the state of the digital collaboration industry. Far from maturing, Dion says, the collaboration tool space is busier than ever evolving, branching out, and multiplying. But, he asks, are organizations able to adopt so many different ways of working together? Dion observes that instead of settling down, the collaboration software space is actually get more interesting and varied, and he is seeing new technologies, such as applications that focus on optimizing collaboration for mobile devices or for team analytics. It’s now time for organizations to design a strong foundation for digital collaboration, says Dion, as the near future promises many key new innovations that must be considered and incorporated to stay competitive, both to customers and the workforce.

When businesses do decide to adopt one or more digital collaboration platforms, Andre Bourque offers some helpful ways in which to measure ROI. Andre quotes a Mashable report which states that cloud collaboration drives creativity and engagement, leading to happier employees and a better company culture, but this is not a metric that is easily measurable. Andre explains that it’s hard to find definitive examples of ROI, as most are anecdotal or “in process”, and merely counting user adoption rate of a collaborative platform is inadequate. Instead, Andre quotes Angela Ashenden, of MWD Advisors, who offers the following metrics to consider: reduced travel time and costs; creating new business opportunities and services; increased employee retention rates, cost savings across the organisation, and faster on-boarding for new users.

Do you have any metrics that you find useful to measure ROI on your collaboration platform in your organisation?

Topics:
cloud ,cloud platforms ,cloud services

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