What is cloud collaboration?
In the age of remote and hybrid working, cloud collaboration is a vital set of tools to enable teams to work together as effectively as possible. While virtual communication tools have seen us through the pandemic, cloud-based document collaboration provides a scalable solution for organisations managing secure and sensitive information. Read on to find out what it is, what you can do with it and the six key cloud collaboration benefits.
What is cloud collaboration?
Cloud collaboration allows teams and external collaborators to work on live documents together which are hosted in the cloud and accessible at any time with a secure log in. Because these documents are online, edits and changes are saved in real time so multiple people can work within the same version without causing duplication.
Some examples of cloud collaboration tools include Microsoft Teams, Google Suite and Dropbox. There are numerous different tools out there which facilitate cloud-based working but there are key factors to consider for organisations working in a highly regulated environment and with important, sensitive data. These include:
- Specified permissions for each user
- Secure access
- An audit trail of all activity undertaken
- Controlled access for external parties
These features are essential for ensuring the privacy and security of sensitive data and capturing all work completed, including edits and revisions with details of when they were made and by whom. This means you can audit check the entire process and easily pinpoint any mistakes or oversights.
6 key cloud collaboration benefits
Makes remote working easier
Using a document collaboration solution makes the process of working together on documents much more straightforward. Rather than having to continuously share different versions or email attachments, everyone can simply log in to the system and work on the same version of the document. This also allows external collaborators from out with your organisation to work collaboratively with you and enables you to control what they can access to ensure necessary sensitive information remains secure.
It goes without saying that ditching email chains and multiple versions of a document saves a lot of time and effort, particularly for long, complex documents which have been worked on by numerous people. Rather than having to consolidate everything, the software saves you the headache by capturing everything in real time. This means you don’t need to waste time on admin, focusing instead on the important tasks.
Cloud based systems eliminate a lot of the time-consuming tedious parts of document collaboration, making for a much more productive experience for collaborators. Being able to work simultaneously within the live document gives individuals more freedom for where and when they work, making it easier to manage workloads and complete tasks.
With cloud-based tools, your documents live in the cloud. This means they are stored outside of your company network and firewalls and there is no need to expose your organisation’s details and put data at risk. These tools have their secure log in systems which means each person trying to access a document will need authorised access and personalised log in details, ensuring documents are always secure.
Improved working process
Cloud collaboration tools deliver easy to manage workflows, proper version control and a central place for all comments and communication to take place. This allows contributors, both external and internal, to work together as easily as possible and have access to all the relevant information whenever they need it.
Never lose work
Another key benefit to working in the cloud is that your work will always be saved automatically and accessible at any time. This takes away the risk of human error, corrupted files or lost conversations or email communication.
How to make cloud collaboration work for you
Cloud based systems are a necessity in today’s working world. Choosing the right system which is going to provide you with what you need is half the battle in getting the most out of it, but there are some things you can consider to ensure a smooth transition for your users.
Make sure all staff members know exactly what to expect by clearly communicating why and when you will be starting to use a cloud-based system. Explaining how it will be beneficial to the user will help to get them on board with this change to the way they work.
Establish a process
Mapping out how workloads will be managed using a cloud system eliminates confusion and ensures everyone knows what is expected of them, allowing you to get started right away without any hiccups.
Many users will be familiar with cloud-based software in some form or other, but providing training allows everyone to be on common ground and gives the opportunity to cover the unique features and set up of your chosen system.
The creation of business-critical documents is an important task and you need to ensure that information is being handled in the right way. Assessing any potential risks with using a new system to do this means you can plan ahead to put appropriate controls in place.
To find out more about secure cloud collaboration in practice, read how WIN/Ratio use and benefit from our PleaseReview software.
Secure cloud collaboration in practice
Discover more about how WIN/Ration reap the benefits from our PleaseReview software.