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The Pros and Cons of Cloud Collaboration

Whether you run a small business or a large enterprise, cloud collaboration is something you have been musing about or doing for the last couple of years. After all, what can possibly be the problem when tech giants like IBM, Microsoft, Google and Amazon (just to name a few) are behind this?

Believe it or not, there are plenty of opportunities for missteps in the areas of support, usability, and security during a cloud migration. In addition, if the move isn’t properly planned, your organization is open to legal loopholes, unexpected expenses and even cyberattacks.

Preparation is the Key

Before considering any movement to a cloud collaboration tool, your organization needs to:

  1. Make sure your firewalls, proxies, and Central Authentication Service (CAS) servers are up-to-date and compatible with the cloud platform of choice.
  2. Determine if the cloud supplier adheres to all data privacy laws, including GDPR
  3. Research exactly how the provider manages redundancy and security.
  4. Take your time – slowly move data over to the cloud.
  5. Pilot different collaboration tools with your employees, vendors, and partners. Gather feedback along the way to narrow down the best solution for you.

Collaboration Pros

There’s significant project savings.

Not only is there better responsiveness, but everyone works from the same document in a real-time environment. No more emailing multiple versions of the document to the various parties or forgetting to include someone.

Better communication occurs.

Schedule a conference or video call and have everyone view, edit and/or comment on the same document at the same time. Participants can be anywhere – in an airport, at a client location or on a construction site – if Wi-Fi is available, they’re in the loop.  

Everyone sees the big picture.

No more working in silos or outdated project management timelines. Everyone has their part to play in the project completion, but the Gantt chart is visible and understandable for all to see. As one thing changes, all the items contingent on that item change as well.

Risk is reduced.

If an architect designs a building to specifications that cannot be constructed, that person is sent back to the drawing board. However, if plans are reviewed regularly by the team, obstacles can be discussed and dealt with early in the process, thus saving time and reducing risk the project will fail.

Cons

Cloud solutions have security limits.  

Both the cloud and the collaborative tools need to have cybersecurity measures you are comfortable with. Understand the encryption levels, with the email addresses and cloud files.

If there is a cybersecurity breach, brand reputations can suffer.

When records are stolen, identities leaked, or confidential trade secrets sold on the dark web, every company associated with the collaborative effort can be hurt.

Decision making can become lengthy.

With multiple points of view and partners, coming to a consensus may take longer than planned.

Individuals can be resistant to change.

Without agreement on the process, people may try to sabotage the collaboration. They will say things were better the “old way”.

Three Ways to Make Cloud Collaboration Work

1.      Gain buy-in.

Explain the cost and time savings of allowing individuals to see the big picture all along the way.

2.      Obtain signed, written agreements.

Have the cloud provider, collaboration app vendor and your partners read and sign what they are providing to your organization. Review all documents with employees, vendors, and partners to ensure total understanding of what they are collaborating on and why this works.

3.     Hire an IT/cybersecurity company.

Put your trust in a company that can help with cloud migration and keep your data protected when it’s there.

We Believe in Cloud Collaboration

Proactive Technology Group can scale your business with the latest cloud services minus the heavy cost of hardware, software, or licensing fees.  Improve your accessibility and globalize your workforce with access anytime and from anywhere. In addition, our cybersecurity experts can keep your data safe in the cloud!

Contact the Proactive Technology Group at 516.876.8200 or info@ptg.co for more information!