SkyDox Releases White Paper on Using the Cloud to Extend Traditional Collaborative Ecosystems

March 6, 2012

SkyDox, a leading provider of cloud-enabled file sharing, synchronization, storage, and collaboration tools, released a white paper today that explores how the cloud has disrupted traditional collaboration processes in enterprises – and why this presents an opportunity for organizations to take an active role in rebuilding enterprise-level collaboration ecosystems.

According to a recent Forrester report, nearly half of all information workers use between four and seven different collaboration tools to do their jobs. While these tools seem to offer convenience, this patchwork approach often undermines the existing collaborative ecosystem that was built to reflect business and IT policies. This results in complex data silos where information is stored across various devices and platforms, the loss of audit trails for tracking files, and inefficient collaboration processes, in which users must learn and operate across multiple platforms. Furthermore, most external tools compete with legacy platforms, such as Microsoft Office or SharePoint, rather than enhancing them.

The situation is further complicated by the increasing trend for users to bring their own devices with unique applications and protocols into the workplace. With so many consumer collaboration tools at their disposal, employees will inevitability continue circumnavigating IT and business polices in order to enhance productivity. Given the rapidly changing landscape, it is becoming increasingly clear that IT administrators can no longer ignore the impact of the cloud on their collaborative ecosystems. Those that do are putting their intellectual property at risk and allowing the steady devaluation of existing technology investments.

SkyDox's new white paper explores the ways that IT administrators can protect corporate intellectual property and meet compliance mandates by taking back control and helping build a next-generation collaborative ecosystem on the foundation of existing technology investments. Among its recommendations, the white paper urges IT administrators to centralize their organization’s collaboration ecosystem – both internally and externally – with cloud-enabled tools that balance consumer usability with enterprise functionality and security. This is accomplished by incorporating a user friendly, cloud-enabled and device-agnostic platform into the ecosystem in order to integrate and enhance legacy applications, including email and content authoring applications from the likes Adobe and Microsoft. To dissuade users from assembling their own mosaic of tools, the combined ecosystem must provide a comprehensive set of social tools that match today’s collaboration landscape and are flexible enough to work seamlessly with a wide variety of file types for both internal and external collaborations.

From a security standpoint, the ecosystem should never force organizations to compromise IT policies and protections. Administrative control for centralized oversight, self-provisioning to add and remove users, and flexible deployments to reflect existing business policies are all key.. By enhancing an organization’s existing collaborative ecosystem with a cloud-enabled platform that meets these requirements, IT administrators can reduce software, administrative, and infrastructure costs, while ensuring compliance and still gaining a return on their existing business application and productivity investments. the ROI and continue to gain a return on their existing business application and productivity investments while ensuring compliance.

The white paper also forecasts how cloud-enabled collaborative ecosystems will become increasingly sophisticated in 2012 with the introduction of semantic classification of digital content, the ability to enforce policy-based content sharing from corporate and personal file collections, and the furthered “socialization” of collaboration tools.

“The cloud has disrupted the workplace in ways that was unforeseeable not long ago. Under the nose of the IT administrator, employees have transformed the way in which they collaborate; taking advantage of their unparalleled access to cloud collaboration tools that promised remarkable productivity advances but ultimately didn’t play well with existing applications or security protocols,” said Daniel Von Weihe, Vice President, Product Design SkyDox. “The way forward is that IT administrators must enable secure collaboration in their corporate environments in a way that meets – and exceeds – what is available today from the consumer-led freemium players.”

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