The case for bringing cloud-based collaboration tools to your enterprise
The traditional model for workplace collaboration is being turned on its head. BYOD, flexible work arrangements and an increase in ad-hoc collaboration make it necessary for enterprises to consider new tools that fit with a more mobile and flexible work environment.
Here are three things to consider when selecting new workplace collaboration tools:
1. Cloud-based video collaboration
In a world where a flexible work environment is in high demand, cloud-based collaboration is a necessary tool; it allows meetings to happen from anywhere, at any time. Unlike traditional video collaboration systems that are expensive and often difficult to use, cloud-based video collaboration allows for interaction from any device, any operating system and any location. Other benefits include:
- Cost-effectiveness: Cloud-based collaboration solutions can be purchased according to use.
- Agnostic technology: It allows different technologies and devices to connect. This varies from traditional video conferencing, which typically requires participants in other locations to have complementary systems.
- Increased flexibility: No advanced conference room scheduling required.
- User-friendliness: Traditional video conferencing systems can be challenging to operate, but cloud-based systems provide a familiar, user-friendly interface.
2. Cloud-based collaborative presentation systems
Employees need the ability to collaborate by sharing and annotating presentation content. To maximize productivity, it benefits workers and the company if they can do this from their device of choice. A presentation system that allows any type of device from any operating system to connect is a smart choice for meeting this collaboration need.
While there are a number of different systems on the market today, the most critical features to consider include:
- Ease of connectivity: A wireless presentation system that doesn’t require cables or dongles will make connecting easy for all users, even those without much technical know-how.
- Number of sites/users supported: For enterprise-grade systems, multiple sites can be supported across the network. At the high end of the spectrum, this typically means 25 users.
- Whiteboard and annotation capabilities: Make sure the solution you choose can provide real-time annotating between participants in the same room or participants in multiple locations.
- Number of devices supported: Many systems now support screen sharing for up to four screens at the same time, allowing greater collaboration among participants.
- Security: Look for a solution that provides enterprise-level security protocols. An important factor in security is whether your system resides on the network or connects using wireless Internet.
3. Access to cloud-based applications
One of the best ways to enhance employee productivity and innovation is to provide the ability to collaborate and produce work using the applications of their choice. This may include cloud-based apps such as YouTube, SlideShare, Vimeo and others that help them generate ideas, create stellar projects and collaborate across platforms.
Whether your employees are in the conference room, in huddle spaces or collaborating from afar, making sure they have cloud-based tools will result in a happier, more productive workforce, dynamic presentations and easily facilitated meetings. There are a lot of new collaboration tools on the market that will work with any device, any application and any workplace situation. Look carefully at your own technology, environment and employee needs to find solutions that will work best for you.