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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Speed, simplicity, security essential for collaboration

Collaboration can fuel creativity, streamline processes and improve colleague relationships.

Category:   Enterprise Mobility

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Collaboration can fuel creativity, streamline processes and improve colleague relationships. By working together, employees benefit from each other's expertise and can delegate tasks to manage workloads. Sharing information allows companies to derive more value out of their knowledge resources. The current big data trend points to the value of pooling data from diverse sources. Information shouldn't be siloed - and neither should workers.

However, as workplaces become more mobile and dispersed, and as corporate data grows in volume, it can be difficult to facilitate efficient, reliable collaboration. Employees spend a significant amount of time emailing and searching for information, and data delivery methods can sometimes lag behind pressing timelines. Companies need efficient ways to give employees immediate access to company information and shared documents. As data security continues to be a pressing concern, these file sharing solutions need to protect resources with top-notch security measures. 

"Demand for secure collaboration solutions is growing as more and more businesses branch out and employ mobile workforces and take advantage of virtual networks," said Bill Brandel, senior director of the Advanced Computing Division at Ingram Micro.

In a workplace fragmented by separate offices and remote workers, fluid collaboration can be instrumental in engaging employees and building company culture.

Managed file transfer optimizes collaboration
Managed file transfer solutions make it easier for employees to have access to documents when they need it, where they need it. For some projects, sharing files via secure email is fast and effective. For other projects, it's far more efficient to collaborate on documents in a central location that all team members can access. While working on extensive projects, emailing files can be inefficient. For example, multiple team members might include comments on separate versions of the same document, Baseline Magazine noted, making it difficult to integrate feedback and communicate clearly with everyone. 

On managed file transfer platforms, employees can easily share files with each other, relying on fast and dependable document delivery for real-time responses. If they're working on projects with large groups, keeping the shared document in a central repository rather than in email chains helps prevent employees from missing comments or accidentally working off of an older version, according to Baseline Magazine. 

Security, ease of use are key
Whether corporate documents contain sensitive customer information or the company's research results, businesses have a vested interest in keeping their data in their control. The modern office often spans multiple time zones and allows remote working or permits employees to access company information on their own devices. For this reason, it's essential to provide employees with ways to access information conveniently and securely.

"The technology has finally caught up with the vision," said Frank Redey, managing director at Accenture, according to Baseline Magazine. "It's now possible to use collaboration tools anywhere, anytime and achieve a seamless experience inside and outside an organization."

Intuitive, user-friendly interfaces for shared document management can reduce the temptation for employees to use less secure shortcuts, such as Google Drive or DropBox. Additionally, file sharing processes should slip into the background so that workers can spend more time focusing on their projects, instead of document delivery. Optimal file sharing solutions should integrate smoothly into the rest of the employees' workflows.