Even before the internet, professional and peer collaboration has long allowed for greater innovation, new ideas, and more creativity. However, in our increasingly globalized world, face-to-face collaboration is not always possible. Today, we need ways to simultaneously work with colleagues located in different places and using varying devices—and cloud file collaboration is the answer.
Cisco’s Global Cloud Networking Survey recently found that collaboration solutions are one of the top reasons that users migrate to the cloud. Cloud computing companies offer data storage and access services that enable multiple users to upload, edit, comment, and collaborate in real time on all kinds of files, such as documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Cloud file sharing, collaboration, and synchronization technology removes geographical barriers to offer the benefits of face-to-face teamwork, while at the same time providing users with additional advantages, including:
Hip! More Freedom and Mobility
Cloud collaboration brings increased freedom and mobility to users, allowing them to work from anywhere and on nearly any device, such as desktop and laptop computers, mobile phones, and tablets. Real-time communication and collaboration among people located in different time zones, for example, is easy, and changes are seen instantly by all file collaborators.
Even more, cloud file sharing and collaboration offers particular benefits for mobile workforces like salespeople and telecommuters, because persons working away from the office or on mobile devices can effectively access, view, and edit files remotely, and the files remain synced with those on their office computers.
Hip! Increased Efficiency and Lowered Costs
Collaboration on cloud-based files can markedly increase efficiency and lower costs. All cloud collaborators can access and work simultaneously on the same files, located in a central place, cutting out wasted time and eliminating the confusion that can be caused with sending information back and forth among colleagues. No more emails, attachments, or multiple versions of files— using the cloud offers simplicity and efficiency.
Besides improving efficiency, cloud file collaboration can also decrease organizational costs. In fact, a 2013 survey by NSK, Inc. revealed that 82% of companies reported saving money by moving to the cloud. Cloud file collaboration makes it possible to share information and work in real time with whomever you choose, no matter where they might be located. Thus, flexible work practices like telecommuting become a viable option for cutting staffing costs, and being able to collaborate with colleagues around the world also allows for the reduction of travel and other costs associated with organizing traditional meetings. Moreover, as organizational information management becomes much more streamlined and centralized in the cloud, even IT costs can be reduced.
Plus, with the number of platforms that offer free cloud file storage and collaboration up to a certain quantity of information (such as Google Drive, Dropbox, SugarSync, Box, and FTP), it’s possible to take advantage of cloud technology – and save money – without shelling out a fortune in software costs.
Hooray! Greater Administrative Control and File Protection
Using cloud file storage, sharing, and collaboration increases administrative control by centralizing data and allowing for specified user permissions to better manage information access. For example, instead of utilizing a central server, information is placed on the internet-based cloud, where all users, even those working remotely from mobile devices, can access, share, edit, and sync files in real time. Cloud collaboration technology allows administrators to easily track the progress of a collaborative project, as well as monitor who made which modifications to a file and when the change was made. Also, permissions and controls can be set to specifically designate which persons can access a certain cloud collaboration file, and if and how the file can be edited, and administrators can even use file locking tools to ensure complete control over organizational information.
Cloud collaboration also addresses one of the biggest administrative concerns: file loss. The loss of information can be detrimental to an organization, so cloud file backup is essential to protect against such loss caused by theft, damage, or human error. By placing information in the cloud and having employees use cloud file collaboration, organizations can enjoy the security of continuous file backup. Files are updated and saved with each and every change, and many platforms also enable users to recover damaged or lost files from designated restoration points.
With the revolution of cloud file collaboration technology, today’s global workers and peers have greater mobility and freedom, as they can interact and work with each other anywhere, at any time. What’s more, businesses and organizations using cloud collaboration can enjoy increased efficiency and greater protection of their vital information— three cheers for cloud collaboration!