Board meetings, those go-to staples of the corporate world, may still have their niche, but the way people do business is changing. Enter the cloud, a way of real-time interfacing that utilizes the Internet for instantly inspired connectivity. Cloud computing allows for multiple users to be engaged with the same project all at once, eliminating the need for saving and sending or lengthy review times. While sharing files may be the most obvious use for cloud computing, this kind of interfacing allows for an allocation of all resources, creating an economy of scale.
Picture a multinational business with offices in the United States and Australia. In a cloud model, one business can allocate resources to the other, all within the same system and without a need for additional resources because the two businesses use these resources at separate hours. Beyond the economic impact of a shared model, businesses also leave a smaller environmental footprint with less equipment and less power sources in use.
A brief history
Cloud collaboration tools have humble beginnings, dating back to the 1950s when expensive mainframes utilized “dumb terminals” as communication hubs rather than dedicating another mainframe to the task. After the dot-com boom, companies re-evaluated the utility of the Internet and its ability to unite users. In the ’90s, the Internet was more of a static resource, an information retrieval service in a way not unlike a library. Now, the Internet is dynamic, a constantly updated flux of information that requires real-time interfacing to stay on top.
That seems all well and good for developers, but how do more traditional businesses get in the game? The idea of the 3 o’clock meeting may be still in effect, but with larger target audiences and employees scattered across the globe, dialing into a conference call isn’t always the solution. Online video conferencing is the way of the future, allowing users a host of options for expression. Those conferencing have tools like virtual desktops at their fingertips, guiding co-workers and even outside users through processes and real-time demos. Furthermore, video conferencing allows those meeting to feel connected on a more personal level, inviting creative flow and keeping employees engaged.
That isn’t to say that documents have fallen by the wayside, but online storage via a document management system is the next step forward. Not only does it allow for easy file sharing, but it provides a business with a much-needed form of redundancy in preserving important files. Storing files online also allows for instant retrieval regardless of the person’s location in the world, keeping the keys to the business readily accessible.
With real-time interfacing expanding every day, it’s only a matter of time before social media follows suit. Businesses should never overlook the importance of social media to the so-called Millennials that new generation of buyer that relies on a company’s social presence to make informed decisions. While a static resource is important to this demographic, imagine the potential that real-time connectivity brings whether it’s an informal chat system or something more. Regardless of where the cloud develops, it’s clear that overlooking this vital resource in the years to come is a mistake few businesses can afford to make.
Check out Cloud Enabler to learn more about how online collaboration software can benefit your business.
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