Sync and Share services are popular, but they don’t truly enable mobile collaboration. Dropbox and similar tools let users move documents into the cloud where they’re sync’d to any device. Now it’s cheap and easy to share folders with others. It’s a big step forward, but there are problems. Collaborators need flexible tools that work with dynamic teams. The tech is best when it’s in the background, especially for mobile users.
People collaborate electronically in more ways than ever before, but we’re still forced to think about the technology first. In fact, new collaboration apps enter the market daily. We constantly adapt to keep up with the people we want to engage. We use many channels to share content: text, email, social sites, cloud storage, instant messaging. The list goes on, and the variety of apps grows by the day. Even small groups typically collaborate with a range of different tools. Large organizations try to standardize, but that breaks down as soon as they engage customers and partners. Sharing content can be as much work as creating it. It’s nearly impossible to keep track of the interactions across these diverse collaboration networks.
Employees expect the same great experience at work that they get from their consumer IT services outside work. A wide range of public cloud services let people collaborate easily, sharing information with a swipe or click. IT departments struggle to provide in-house services that meet such high expectations. Even when they do, they often leave the individual stuck between life at work and life outside work. Since most of us use our phones, tablets, PCs and other devices for both work and personal tasks, company and personal content gets commingled. Employees are using consumer cloud services to conduct business, mixing personal and business content. For example, LinkedIn connects me to my customers and coworkers, but also to fellow alumni, members of professional organizations and other groups. Dropbox is handy for taking my work home and sharing work with partners, but also for collaborating on my nonprofit work and sharing pictures with the grandparents.