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e-Collaboration Authors: Liz McMillan, Astadia CloudGPS, Glenn Rossman, Harry Trott, XebiaLabs Blog

Related Topics: Cloud Computing, Open Cloud Collaboration

Cloud Computing: Article

What's Driving Collaboration in the Cloud | @CloudExpo #Cloud

Factors Influencing Cloud Collaboration

BCN Study Looks at What's Driving Collaboration in the Cloud

Business Cloud News recently tied up with Sharp Document Solutions to interview more than 715 enterprise IT professionals from across the world for their study on cloud based collaboration. The objective of the study was to look at the level of proliferation of cloud tools in the enterprise setup of today and also to understand the factors that may be challenging this unbridled growth.

Quite clearly, some of the major factors driving the adoption of cloud collaboration were to do with dissatisfaction with the legacy tools for collaboration. For instance, 75% of the respondents liked cloud based tools for they allowed collaboration from any device or platform. Again, nearly half (around 45%) of the respondents wanted tools that would allow them to collaborate from outside the workplace - something that cloud based tools provide. The demand for such attributes appear to stem from the fact that nearly 90% of the respondents today access collaboration services from a laptop while nearly 38% of them access it via a personal mobile device.

While these factors explain the growing demand for cloud based collaboration services, the BCN study also found that a good number of respondents were still on the fence. One of the primary concerns for these respondents was security. A good 15% of the respondents believed the cloud based tools were not secure enough. Other major reasons affecting the adoption rate were concerns that the SLAs provided were too simplistic, corporate data being hard to be kept track of, and simply no demand from their organization. Just about 4% of the respondents had an issue with vendor lock-ins.

While the authors of the study do not explicitly measure the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) behind the reluctance to migrate to cloud, it is clear that vendors definitely need to communicate better with their audience about issues such as security and demand. For instance, it is possible for enterprise Dropbox users to set up a two-step verification process in order to protect access to confidential data. Similarly, if you use real-time collaboration services like ClickWebinar, it is possible to establish firewall settings to restrict access.

The study has other very interesting takeaways. An overwhelming 67% of the respondents noted that working remotely was extremely important to their job. Also, nearly 63% believed they were more productive when working from home. In terms of platform-agnosticism, close to 75% wanted collaboration tools to be accessible from any mobile device or tablet in addition to their work PC. In what could be a harbinger of things to come, close to 45% of the respondents reported dissatisfaction with the use of emails and shared networks while collaboration from outside their work place. Close to 45% of the respondents also believed that consumer applications that are used at home were easier to use compared to the tools available at work. These are perhaps valuable lessons that enterprise collaboration tool vendors may need to consider while designing their product and communication strategy.

Overall, it appears to be a perfect setup for a major disruption in the cloud collaboration space. The need for such services has been perennially on the rise. However, certain concerns have kept the adoption from reaching optimal levels. It will be interesting to see how vendors tackle this challenge and ensure greater adoption over the next decade.

More Stories By Harry Trott

Harry Trott is an IT consultant from Perth, WA. He is currently working on a long term project in Bangalore, India. Harry has over 7 years of work experience on cloud and networking based projects. He is also working on a SaaS based startup which is currently in stealth mode.