Jun 08 2016

Cloud Adoption and Collaboration Go Hand in Hand

As SMBs move to the cloud, they will expand use of apps that let their workers easily collaborate.

“Every worker now is a connected information worker.”

That’s a bold statement, but it’s true even if your business is not fully tapping into the connectivity that is at most employees’ fingertips 24/7. Why? Because, today, most people who work for your business will have some type of mobile device — be it a smartphone, a tablet or a notebook.

That connected work statement comes from Vanessa Thompson, a research vice president for IDC’s collaboration and communities program. Collaboration apps are strong drivers of cloud software growth, she says. In fact, by 2019, according to IDC forecasts, about half of collaboration and communication software will be hosted in the cloud.

PGA Tour’s Suite Spot

For the PGA Tour, whose move to Office 365 is detailed here, improving collaboration is a key benefit it anticipates as a result of migrating its email services to the cloud. “Everyone’s blending their work life with their home life, and so it gives us a lot of flexibility,” says Steve Evans, senior vice president at the PGA Tour.

The Tour’s licensing agreement lets users install familiar Microsoft Office programs such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint on multiple devices, then access files from anywhere using the OneDrive cloud storage system. They can also share documents with SharePoint and participate in online meetings and video calls with Skype for Business.

Soon, the Tour plans to let workers upgrade to Office 2016, which will give them the ability to work on documents with colleagues remotely and in real time, with each user seeing the edits and additions that the others are making.

The fact that Office 365 lets users manage their own license allotments simplifies matters for the Tour’s IT team. It doesn’t have to make decisions about which workers need access to Office apps on their home computers or personal mobile devices, Evans says. The employees will tap into the cloud services as needed.

That type of thinking and IT strategy — letting employees collaborate from wherever they are — represents the future state of business. Technology teams will have the opportunity to make that capability a reality.

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