Cloud-based Collaboration is a Competitive Advantage

How Online Collaboration is Evolving in the Cloud

It is a fact that “Online Collaboration“ has evolved dramatically the last decade primarily due to a new generation of business technology applications. Recently, Forbes Insights released Collaborating in the Cloud, a Cisco-sponsored study (the “Study”) examining the ways business leaders increasingly look at cloud collaboration as a way to increase productivity, accelerate business results and enhance innovation across borders and functions (see:

The research that supports the results of the Study combined a global survey of more than 500 executives with 15 face-to-face executive interviews.  The Chief Insights Officer of Forbes Media opined that (1) the ability to collaborate in the cloud is becoming a key driver of competitive advantage and (2) leading companies are doing more to increase cloud-based collaboration (a) internally and (b) with a growing number of groups such as customers, suppliers, partners and government agencies, etc.  In addition, the same Forbes media officer stated that the benefits of cloud-based collaboration also include greater efficiency, organizational dexterity, and innovation, among many others.

Significant Findings in the Market Study include:
Cloud solutions facilitate acceleration of business results. Sixty-four percent of respondents overall concluded that cloud-based collaboration tools help businesses execute faster than would be possible otherwise. Obviously, this advantage can shorten time to market, quicken product upgrade cycles and facilitate quicker responses to competitive challenges. Interestingly, the figure increases to 82% among leaders. In the survey (14% of the sample) leaders are defined as (a) executives (CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, CFOs, vice presidents of IT and non-IT executives who are department heads) with (b) significantly greater experience and familiarity with cloud-based collaboration tools and strategies than others in the survey.

Cloud enhances collaboration across time zones and functional boundaries. Fifty-five percent of those surveyed — 87% of leaders — say that capabilities enabled by cloud-based solutions represent a true breakthrough in collaboration. Cloud-based collaboration tools enable a wide array of enhanced capabilities in areas such as communication, product and service delivery, information sharing, tapping knowledge resources and group problem solving.

Cloud enables more-efficient business processes. Fifty-eight percent of total respondents — and 90% of leaders — report that cloud-based collaboration has the potential to improve business processes. Business processes include purchasing, manufacturing, marketing, sales and technical support. Organizations as wide ranging as D+M Global (sound systems), Virgin Media (broadband, cable, mobile) and the Essex County Council (UK government) are transforming business processes through enhanced collaboration that’s enabled by the cloud.

In addition, Cloud collaboration spurs innovation. Fifty-nine percent of executives — 93% of leaders — agree that cloud-based collaboration stimulates innovation. Cloud is not solely an IT discussion. Seventy-five percent of those identified as “leaders” say that non-IT executives are becoming more involved in the selection, implementation, and management processes relating to cloud-based collaboration tools. In short, cloud collaboration is not an IT discussion but a broader business discussion.

For more information, see:

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