As companies move online, operate with remote teams, work with external suppliers, and generally have to adapt to the changing business landscape, they need an accessible, centralized platform to be able to coordinate. One growing solution is a cloud collaboration environment, which serves as a unifying location to host different services like ticketing systems, artifact storage, and wikis.
A cloud collaboration environment is a customized online space where companies can select and combine intelligent tools in order to provide projects with everything they need. This functionality allows companies to action quick starts for new projects, maintain momentum within ongoing projects, as well as validate ideas and bring them to market in a shorter time frame. The result is more productive and engaged teams, plus greater agility across projects. In some instances, there are financial advantages too, as the tailored infrastructural needs mean more streamlined costs.
These environments provide flexibility for organizations and the projects using them because they reduce dependency on existing systems and possible waiting times for teams and stakeholders. And, using Infrastructure as Code (IaC), companies can easily spin up environments for different projects - vastly more dynamic than starting from scratch each time. Additionally, companies can utilize cloud-agnostic infrastructure setups and containerize environment applications to prevent vendor lock-in and have the freedom to move to alternative cloud providers in the future.
Here's how cloud collaboration environments are contributing to faster, more efficient business processes:
Unlike with traditional tools, permission management is noticeably easier in cloud collaboration environments. If a new person joins a project or a new project is launched, teams aren't delayed by waiting for the IT department to set up secure accounts, working environments, and project workspaces. Instead, select users within the environment can add fellow participants themselves, enabling them to be productive from day one. There's also the potential to connect environments with existing authentication providers, so users can login with their current work environment credentials.
Once active in an environment, users can access a full suite of collaboration tools that are available at any time. Here, teams can work on projects together, in real-time, tracking all changes, and being able to monitor progress in a more detailed manner. For teams that rely on agile frameworks and iterations, this type of transparency is particularly valuable.
At a technical level, parties can contribute to the source code within project environments, optimizing conditions according to their preferred collaboration needs.
A significant benefit of cloud collaboration environments is ensuring business compliance with industry regulations, such as TISAX in the automotive space, and HIPAA in healthcare. Infrastructure and applications can be pre-approved to align with set conditions, meaning that organizations can carry out daily tasks with the confidence that they do not breach compliance rules.
Rather than setting-up encrypted email channels to share information among project stakeholders, collaboration environments facilitate secure and instant exchanges. All intellectual property is correctly stored and shielded from possible leaks or corruptions, and all documents can be subject to various control processes, such as validation, publication, and retention.
At the same time, change requests and version control take place in the environment, guaranteeing traceability. Also, organizations can choose to host their preferred communication tools inside the environment to centralize discussions and accommodate company-specific preferences.
Organizations don't have to worry about device vulnerabilities either, as security upgrades are simplified and implemented within and across projects. Particularly as remote teams are prone to using personal hardware for work, such upgrades are essential to protect sensitive data and project developments. On top of this, environment users can be assigned different access authorization, eliminating the chance of non-enterprise accounts viewing project information.
By 2023, the global cloud computing market is expected to be worth $623.3 billion - a figure that could be substantially larger as businesses go fully digital. Particularly in the remote revolution spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic, remote workforces can reap the advantages of cloud environments that aren't contingent on users' location and continue normal workflows.
Not only are the environments a non-disruptive solution for distance teams, they also empower businesses to scale. By starting with low-capacity solutions, organizations can add to environments accordingly as they bring on more adopters, paving the way for faster growth.
In short, cloud collaboration environments are for and by businesses.