Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll have heard the buzz about cloud collaboration — a dynamic set of tools, platforms, and strategies that have completely transformed how we work. Whether your team is all under one roof or in far-flung places across the globe, collaborative software in the cloud unlocks a world of advantages.
But what are these cloud computing benefits exactly?
In this article, we’re going to dig into the details of what makes cloud-based teamwork so special. Covering the key points across communication, costs, scalability, security, and more, if you’re not already convinced by the power of cloud collaboration, you soon will be.
While cloud collaboration excels for in-house teams, it really comes into its own for remote workers spread over various geographies. Unable to gather around a desk to work together, real-time collaboration tools are essential to react quickly to situations and align everybody’s efforts.
Perhaps the best way of understanding the importance of real-time collaboration is to look at it the other way around. Traditionally, teams would have to send documents back and forth via email, download the new version, make edits, and send it back. Anyone who has tried this method knows it’s a minefield of delays and miscommunications — the exact opposite of productivity.
Cloud platforms for teams come with a wide range of digital teamwork solutions that allow you to interact, share, and work on documents simultaneously.
Remote teams simply couldn’t survive without secure cloud collaboration. But this simple change comes with myriad advantages — the key among them being the ability to collaborate from wherever you happen to be.
But it’s not just about breaking down geographical boundaries to work as an international team. Even teams working from a single physical location can reap the rewards of collaborative software in the cloud. Digital teamwork solutions mean all you need is a stable internet connection to stay in contact with headquarters while you attend meetings, conferences, and events.
Having accessibility from everywhere is one of the main advantages of cloud collaboration, as it ensures continuity during planned or unexpected absences from the office. This is a boon for teams of traveling salespeople, who can view their schedules in real-time while also updating their customer relationship management (CRM) systems from their smartphones.
But even if you’re generally fixed on office space, you can use team collaboration tools on the cloud to promote a better work-life balance. For example, you could allow a work-from-home day every week. Whether people choose to stay at home or visit their parents upstate is up to them — as long as they complete their tasks.
Using cloud collaboration for increased flexibility is a great way of enhancing team productivity by improving morale. When people can get away from the office every now and then, it leads to increased job satisfaction and higher motivation.
Although it might not be the first benefit that comes to mind, cloud collaboration is often a smart financial strategy for companies looking to reduce their operational costs. These savings can then be reallocated for more productive purposes. Here are a few areas where you can save:
Cloud platforms for teams are not only easy to set up, but you also avoid the cost of installing and maintaining in-house physical servers. On the other hand, cloud platforms use secure, large-scale cloud servers, saving you both the initial investment and technical team needed for a physical server.
The ongoing remote revolution is leaving many astonished at the costs involved in face-to-face working formats. Top of the list is clearly office rental, which can be astronomical if you’re based in a major city that’s home to top talent.
However, you may also find you don’t need to splash out on computers either. While it’s essential to provide team collaboration tools for remote work to go smoothly, most people are happy to use their own laptops at home.
When you’re heating a rented office space in the winter and cooling it down in the summer, you’re likely to rack up hefty energy bills. Collaborative software in the cloud allows you to fully eliminate these costs as you leave the office.
Sure, remote working does essentially pass energy costs on to your staff’s home bills. However, the monthly savings made by not commuting to an office far outweigh the increase in electricity payments.
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Cyberattacks have quickly gone from Sci-Fi thrillers to a regular occurrence, making secure cloud collaboration a top priority. Without security measures such as encryption, multi-factor authentication, and security audits, you open your and your clients’ data to costly breaches.
Luckily, companies that make their name in cloud collaboration are more than aware of these risks and invest a great amount of resources into counteracting attacks. Compared to a DIY server, security on professional cloud storage units is a big step up from internal digital teamwork solutions. Cloud platforms for teams need to be on top of industry standards and compliance requirements, shielding your data and systems with firewalls and encryption.
As a user, there’s a lot you can do to increase the security of your systems. Setting multi-factor authentication as a standard is a great way of preventing hackers from compromising your team. But on the off chance that a bad actor manages to get onto your system, you can have access controls in place to protect your most valuable information. Put simply, you can restrict sensitive documents to only those who need to know. This is an excellent way of keeping the personal data of your staff and customers secure, not to mention secret projects that aren’t ready for public release.
One of the greatest advantages of cloud collaboration is the flexibility involved — being able to work with larger files and more of them as you grow or scale down operations during quiet times. This not only helps your finances by cutting out excess features, but it increases efficiency by allowing you to customize your platform to what you need at any given moment.
Having said that, top of the cloud computing benefits in terms of scalability is being able to grow from a lean startup to an international enterprise on the same system without feeling restricted. Unlike old systems when adding new features required an appointment and months of technical work behind the scenes, cloud platforms allow you to easily integrate new tools, enhancing team productivity at the click of a button.
Good scalability crosses over into a cost-saver, too. Firstly, you can test out an upgrade in sandbox mode to see if you really need it. The simplicity of cloud software means these test versions don’t imply a significant investment of time or money. When you do choose to upgrade, there are no additional hardware and maintenance costs.
In a similar sense, wide-reaching cloud platforms help you avoid multiple software licenses. So, rather than burning a hole in your budget with a string of different tools and accounts, look for an all-in-one solution that keeps learning curves and subscription payments to a minimum.
Communication is the lifeblood of cloud collaboration, connecting your team across geographies and time zones. It goes beyond discussing work and avoiding issues and delays caused by poor communication. The keyword here is transparency. By keeping task-based discussions out in the open, anybody can track progress, which actually makes cloud-based teamwork even more effective than in-office communication.
However, if you don’t lay the groundwork correctly, your team is likely to retreat into a silo, and that potentially seamless collaboration will break down. Therefore, it’s important to provide a platform for your team to work on, which means bringing in both synchronous and asynchronous communication tools.
These features are essentially those you use to communicate in real-time. We’re talking video calls for daily standup meetings, instant messages for discussing tricky issues, and comments within documents for rapid feedback to approve those documents efficiently. Digital whiteboards are a great addition to creative meetings, allowing dispersed teams to get their point across in an environment where everybody can see the same thing.
Emails are the original asynchronous communication channel — somewhere you can leave a message that the recipient can check whenever they are ready. But nowadays, there is so much more on offer. Internal social media networks allow you to post announcements and praise for employees so everybody can stay in the loop when it’s convenient. Your project management tool is a perfect use of asynchronous communication too, with each task featuring a history of all updates made. Both of these methods help to reduce the clutter and confusion of extended email chains. Instead, easy notifications will guide people to the information they need.
On the subject of clutter, there is really nothing worse than the mess that used to be caused by teams collaborating on a document. Folders full of files with names like “first draft”, “first draft (2)” “FINAL” and “FINAL with changes” inevitably led to a distinct lack of quality and a truly unfair amount of frustration for those involved.
But version history has come along to change all of that, making cloud collaboration far more efficient and keeping your team from tearing their hair out. Instead of that messy folder from before, you’ll have a single document with a historical record of versions, allowing team members to revert to previous drafts if needed.
While real-time collaboration is a major boost for cloud-based teamwork, version control takes things one step further. It ensures that every edit, comment, or modification is logged and can be reviewed by other team members. This level of transparency is crucial in preventing misunderstandings and keeping everyone aligned on the latest version of a document.
So there you have it — a simple solution to uniting remote teams, expanding sustainably, keeping your data safe, and so much more.
But that’s just the theory, now it’s time to put it into practice.
Bitrix24 is specifically designed for companies of all sizes in search of a wide-reaching yet user-friendly cloud collaboration platform. As part of a platform that gives your business everything it needs to succeed, you’ll enjoy:
So, sign up for Bitrix24 and embrace the power of cloud collaboration today.
Cloud collaboration refers to teams working together on documents or projects through online platforms and services, enabling real-time sharing, editing, and communication from any location with internet access. This approach allows for seamless collaboration, overcoming geographical and time constraints, and ensures that all participants have access to the latest versions of documents. It enhances productivity and flexibility, making it easier for teams to coordinate efforts and collaborate more effectively.
Cloud collaboration enhances team productivity and efficiency by fostering a more cohesive and transparent working environment. It allows team members to simultaneously collaborate on documents and projects, facilitating real-time feedback and brainstorming for dynamic and creative solutions. This also streamlines reviews and approvals. Additionally, cloud collaboration encourages a culture of open communication and collective problem-solving, where team members can contribute their expertise and insights regardless of their physical location, thereby harnessing a wider range of skills and perspectives for better outcomes.
Cloud collaboration tools typically offer high-level security features like encryption and access controls to safeguard sensitive data for team projects. Managers can add an extra layer of security by limiting access to sensitive documents only to trusted individuals.