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Cloud, mobile drive social collaboration strategies

The communication landscape has changed during the last several years, as employees are no longer bound to use only the traditional business phone system when interacting with clients, colleagues and partners. Instead, organizations are beginning to adopt social strategies, in which they use web-based applications for collaboration purposes. These initiatives are largely being driven by the advent of cloud services and big data.

Research firm Frost & Sullivan revealed that cloud computing is helping reshape the enterprise communications landscape by providing individuals with access to a unique set of opportunities. By using hosted services, for example, companies can more easily embrace the mobile phenomenon by providing workers with access to myriad of applications that can be used anywhere.

The use of cloud infrastructure services also enables organizations to adopt big data initiatives with fewer complications, Frost & Sullivan noted. This will be important for companies that want to embrace the social collaboration movement.

"[Analyzing data] will be the foundation of helping [businesses] benchmark themselves against competition as well as deepen their understanding of what is currently lacking as part of their overall product, marketing or customer service strategy," said Audrey William of Frost & Sullivan. "It is still early days and this area will evolve over time and there will be huge opportunity for vendors in the analytics and business intelligence space to develop social collaboration analytical tools."

Why innovate collaboration strategies?
Because the private sector is constantly evolving, decision-makers need to ensure they are on the cusp of innovation if they are to remain competitive in the coming years. By using cloud-based unified communications, for example, firms can deploy and support a multitude of collaboration solutions, allowing them to keep pace with the rest of the industry.

"Additionally we will start seeing more of the unified communications solutions incorporate social media and collaboration as part of its solution," William asserted.

A separate study of more than 1,700 CEOs by IBM highlighted that decision-makers are looking to create a more open networking and communications landscape for their employees. By adopting the cloud, individuals can access mission-critical resources from home or on the road through virtually any platform. This is a critical aspect to the next-generation "open" workplace.

As executives make their way through 2013, planning cloud communication strategies will be vital to survival, as impulsively adopting myriad of tools will only invite unnecessary complication.

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