It’s no secret that organizations looking to remain competitive in a fast-changing digital marketplace view on-premise solutions as clunky, outdated, and antiquated. The reality is that cloud solutions are now viewed as essential for driving digital transformation across an enterprise.
What is less obvious are some of the intrinsic benefits cloud solutions bring to workplace collaboration. Not only are cloud solutions secure and stable, but they also offer numerous features and capabilities that are fundamentally reshaping how employees get work done and interact with one another. These capabilities are helping to drive a seamless customer experience, what Bret Taylor, Salesforce chief product officer, called the fourth industrial revolution at Salesforce Connections.
Here are three reasons that cloud collaboration is a key component for achieving digital transformation.
Cloud data providers excel in organizing and indexing data.
Organizations that maintain their data on network servers inevitably create less-than-optimal archiving protocols. They may let individuals choose filenames that aren’t logical or that others struggle to subsequently discover. They may create non-intuitive organizational structures and suboptimal version-control safeguards. They may not allow users to run keyword searches on file metadata. And they may not provide simple ways to share files with non-employees outside the network.
No matter how much time your company’s IT team spends to improve file management, there’s little chance your company can design anything as sophisticated and powerful as what third-party cloud data providers have already built. For example, the FileShadow cloud file assurance service uses a proprietary indexing engine to catalog Adobe files and other files and to identify correlations among files. FileShadow also can automatically generate metadata for your image files, enabling users to instantly search for related images by keyword.
FileShadow recently announced it was expanding its archiving service to include all Adobe Creative Cloud files, in essence harnessing the power of multi-cloud technology to bring together designers, artists, and project managers to collaborate seamlessly. FileShadow takes care of version control, archiving, and backups, and users never have to worry about frustrating capacity limitations of on-premise data storage.
Employees work best when they’re not restricted by geography and access issues.
Thanks to the interconnectivity of the Internet, employees are now able to work anytime and from anywhere. That means organizations can’t necessarily count on an entire project team routinely assembling in the same physical office. Employees are increasingly working from home and on the road, using their personal devices. In fact, this flexibility is one of the perks that draws people to Simplus.
Consequently, it no longer makes sense for organizations to rely on internal servers and networks, which serve only to create barriers between employees and their work. Cloud solutions don’t put artificial restrictions on how off-site employees access their work. Even if a single team is geographically distributed across multiple sites, or if some team members work from home using personal devices, every employee is treated exactly the same.
Employees at our company respond favorably to the access and flexibility afforded to them by our cloud-based collaboration tools, such as Slack and Google Hangouts. They become more productive, more likely to work outside the confines of standard business hours, and more engaged and passionate about the work they’re doing. These qualities are essential in a digitally mature organization.
Customers are better served by employees who can communicate easily.
The end game of every technology upgrade in an organization is to improve the customer experience. Cloud solutions give every employee equal access to real-time information on sales, projects, business intelligence, and so forth. Cloud solutions also make it easy for employees to communicate with one another to dramatically improve how work gets done.
The expansive Salesforce ecosystem for customer relationship management is filled with examples of how employee communication is enhanced in the cloud. One example is Salesforce’s CPQ (configure, price, quote) platform that automates how companies configure, price, and quote. Simplus specializes in implementing Salesforce CPQ, and we consistently see companies get the best CPQ outcomes when all sales-related personnel – including marketing teams and third-party resellers and distributors – are connected and working together. Salesforce CPQ provides an essential platform for bringing these parties together to create, review, track, analyze, redline, and approve sales contracts.
Additional integration with contract life management solutions, like Conga, allows Salesforce CPQ users to collaboratively negotiate contract terms within the parameters set by their company’s legal team; these terms might encompass fees, auto-renewals, and permissible substitutions for standard terms and conditions. The end result is a smoother, faster close, with a sales process that feels effortless to customers.
Companies are continually finding new ways to use cloud technology to strategically increase employee collaboration and drive digital transformation. Cloud data providers are able to offer transformational organizing and indexing capabilities out of the box. Cloud solutions do not arbitrarily restrict access to project data for employees who are working offsite and using personal devices. And cloud solutions empower employees to more seamlessly communicate and ultimately to improve the customer experience.