The Challenge of Cloud – Collaboration

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The Challenge of Cloud – Collaboration

Say it ain’t so! That’s what platforms such as Office 365 were developed for. It can’t be a challenge? It is the wave of the future. It will solve all organizational problems. Right? Yeh, right. “After compiling decades of research, MIT Professor Tom Allen found that, despite the seemingly booming popularity of business collaboration platforms, people are not likely to collaborate very often if they are more than 50 feet apart.” Business Collaboration Finally Grows Up in 2013. Although the statement initially appears rather humorous, adoption of collaboration requires not only tools but a change in user behavior.

The end purpose of collaboration is uniting a flexible workforce and at the same time capturing best practices and knowledge to reduce risk and become part of corporate memory for future access. Collaboration can also include the use of blogs and wikis to further disseminate relevant information and encourage the addition the individual expertise to the corporate knowledge base.

But, there are several concerns, such as security, unauthorized use, and communication noise. For the most part, unstructured content in this scenario remains unmanaged. Any type of sensitive information needs to be protected; security issues must take into account the end user as well as the content asset, and posting of information to public sites or unauthorized sites must be prevented. The effective use of collaboration should deliver results and improve communication and not become an unproductive use of time for end users who will eventually abandon participation.

The goal is to provide improved collaboration outcomes by providing insight into content; group similar users, concepts, and content together; identify people with expertise, knowledge or interest in a topic; and protect and secure confidential information from unauthorized participants. The end result is consistent understanding of the value and context of information. It also provides confident cross-organizational decision support capability and shared knowledge and enterprise availability of intelligent metadata knowledge to increase organizational performance.