Mobility, communication and collaboration were not words that were used in the same breath in the past. Mobility was always sans communication and sans collaboration. Today, the growth of telecommunications, the Internet and converged technologies have made it possible to communicate and collaborate while on the move.

Cloud collaboration and communication technologies use the Internet as their network and many discrete elements such as voice over IP, enterprise messaging, secure collaboration solutions and conferencing technologies have come together to provide powerful communication and collaboration tools  in the hands of the mobile workforce. These technologies are tightly integrated and made accessible from a single window interface. Theoretically and practically, non-mobile and mobile workers can collaborate on enterprise information from wherever they are, using authorized login procedures and Cloud collaboration tools supplied by the Cloud vendor.

But, collaboration and communication between stakeholders of an enterprise must be a thought through process. Every enterprise is unique and the way collaborations and communications are orchestrated is unique. So, not all collaboration tools on offer are required. It follows that the enterprise must verify:

  • Whether the collaboration and communication tools on offer are really what they are looking for; and
  • Whether the tools fit in with the computing framework and ecosystem of the enterprise.

The enterprise must question the W5’s — where, what, why, when, and how — of collaboration and examine viability, security, enterprise readiness and integration in context. Stakeholders for collaboration must be given the opportunity to examine and evaluate the tool and understand whether it brings in any benefit to their work-a-day world. The tools, finally selected, must integrate with the enterprise IT ecosystem and facilitate implementation of enterprise policy driven authentication and authorization protocols.

Having said this, it must be pointed out that increased Cloud based collaboration, communication and mobility drive business decisions and strategies. A Forbes Survey conducted in May 2013* [1] shows that Cloud collaboration and communication is on the rise. Here are some of the findings:

  • 64% percent of the respondents felt that Cloud collaboration accelerated business results and helped business function faster with shorter times to market and quicker upgrade cycles;
  • 55% of the respondents agreed that Cloud collaboration increased interaction across time zones and enabled a variety of communication and information sharing / problem solving exercises. 58% of the participants reported that Cloud collaboration and communication improved business processes and streamlined business activities;
  • 59% concurred that collaboration stimulated innovation;
  • 65% of the respondents said that Cloud impacted business decisions and was not merely a technological change.

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 [1] – http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbespr/2013/05/20/forbes-insights-survey-reveals-Cloud-collaboration-increases-business-productivity-and-advances-global-communication/