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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Leveraging collaborative technology in the workplace

Collaboration can help improve performance and make more efficient use of company resources, but organizations need technological solutions to facilitate teamwork in the modern enterprise environment.

Category:   File Collaboration And Replication   Enterprise Mobility

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Collaboration can help improve performance and make more efficient use of company resources, but organizations need technological solutions to facilitate teamwork in the modern enterprise environment. Today's corporate world often includes team members working remotely and digital resources that need to be protected for privacy concerns. Secure file sharing solutions enable employees to work together on projects and share resources more efficiently, without sacrificing data security.

In addition to choosing a solution, such as a Wide Area File Service (WAFS), managers need to implement policies and procedures to shape the way their organization completes its business operations. According to CMSWire, businesses can adopt several practices to transform the way they make use of collaborative technologies. These strategies help them to better integrate team tools into their workflow and processes. The main point is to re-examine business practices based on new opportunities offered by technology, and to ensure their systems support employees' workflows as well as enterprise data security needs.

Benefiting from collaboration
CMSWire noted that collaboration can increase employee engagement, accelerate decision-making, improve problem solving, increase productivity and reduce dependency on email. Although email is a common and convenient communication tool, it can be inefficient for group brainstorming and insecure if attachments aren't protected properly. Fast Company noted that integrated collaboration tools can make group work more efficient by keeping resources and correspondence in a central place. For example, secure file sharing systems that keep versions of documents in a central repository can prevent employees from accidentally using an outdated version from an older email message.

Contemporary enterprise technology allows employees to take advantage of mobile devices for business purposes. This provides greater opportunities for working remotely, such as while traveling, and for more flexible work schedules. Collaborative tools can be implemented to give employees secure access to company resources and programs through their mobile devices. To make the most of these opportunities, however, organizations can shape their policies regarding remote working and work schedules, CMSWire suggested. Because of the possibilities offered by technology, companies can now think of employee availability in different ways, the source elaborated, rather than requiring a strict 9-5 presence in the office.

At the same time, although collaborative technology makes it easier for employees to work together without requiring them to be in the same place, in-person interactions are still crucial, CMSWire emphasized. This means that when implementing file sharing solutions, corporate leaders should still encourage and provide opportunities for face-to-face meetings and group work. In many cases, technology should enhance the way that teams interact with one another, not entirely replace in-person cooperation with remote correspondence. The source added that younger generations value personal interactions more, not less, as their dependence on technology increases. To keep meetings efficient and effective, they should be focused on discussions, not on disseminating information, advised Fast Company.

Enterprise-specific concerns
By integrating collaborative tools into employees' regular workflows, companies help them to be more productive and efficient. Secure file sharing systems are convenient when they resemble tools that employees use privately as a part of their daily lives. However, organizations need to take their specific needs into consideration when choosing solutions to ensure the system fully supports their operations. For example, Tech Radar explained that enterprises require services, such as archiving, that are not required by most consumers. These extra activities should be supported by file management systems, especially as companies aim to integrate their resources and streamline workflows.

Further, security is essential in the enterprise environment, especially for industries that handle sensitive data. By choosing solutions that provide high-end protection, companies can ensure their collaborative activities maintain security without introducing time-consuming tasks into their employees' processes.