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The future of Cloud-Based Collaboration



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August 26, 2010 7:10 am

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Guest post by Wendy Steinle

According to a recent survey by Forrester Research, 50% of companies state they either currently use cloud services or are actively experimenting with them.

While some cloud-based services have gained a measure of acceptance with enterprises, and broad acceptance among consumers, my favorite topic – collaboration – has lately been in the spotlight. While the above Forrester statistic shows the world is definitely turning to the cloud, the question is whether or not enterprises are ready for cloud-based collaboration.

I’ve seen plenty of research that says people in the workplace are using social tools for business. On the flip side, many businesses are blocking access to public social sites for fear of privacy, security, and compliance. According to Michael Fauscette, GVP of Software Business Solutions at IDC “survey data shows that 54% of US companies report blocking access to all public social sites while 57% of employees report using public social sites for business at least once per week”.¬† It is clear that people are looking for something to help them work better together, and the business is rightly concerned about maintaining advantage and staying out of trouble.

When Google recently announced it was ending development of Google Wave, there were many opinions about why and what it meant for the future of collaboration in general. I joined in this conversation with Seth Weintraub, who covers Google for Fortune Tech, on a recent episode of cloudchasers. If you listen, you’ll see that I believe YES, enterprises ARE ready for cloud-based collaboration, BUT the nuance is all in the definition of collaboration and what other elements such as enterprise-class security and compelling use cases must surround it. Hint: Twitter and Facebook don’t = enterprise collaboration.

Of course I wouldn’t put that out there if I didn’t have an answer. You can listen to the cloudchasers episode where we discuss the future of cloud-based collaboration. Download free from either the blog or from iTunes.

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