Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Liz McMillan, Zakia Bouachraoui, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: @CloudExpo

@CloudExpo: Article

Cloud Computing Turns Virtual Teams Into a Competitive Advantage

Collaboration in the cloud will fundamentally change the business ecosystem

Collaboration in the cloud is the future of business. Web 2.0 and cloud computing make it possible to solve the final challenge of coordination and management. If you're inside a larger enterprise, you can use collaboration in the cloud to compete with lean, nimble startups, or to better coordinate across different groups, offices, and divisions.

We've heard all the buzzwords before. Virtual companies. Offshoring. Free agent nation. But this time, it's for real. The future of business is no longer enormous, vertically integrated titans (anyone check Ford's stock price recently?), but rather small, nimble, federations.

Historically, the cost of coordination has outweighed the benefits of agility, which is why the virtual corporation had a hard time breaking through. But today's cloud technologies, with their ability to bridge the gaps between firms, and between businesses and consumers, are spawning a new generation of collaboration tools that slash the cost of coordination, unlocking a potential revolution in organization and management.

And thanks to the current economic crisis, the business world is ripe for revolution. The mantra of "too big to fail" has been proven yet another meaningless buzzword by the fall of corporate giants like GM and Citigroup. "Small is the new big" is taking its place, and this advice applies to both small businesses and major corporations.

In a down economy, survival depends on the classic small business strength of doing more with less, especially businesses that have been hit with layoffs. If you're not already outsourcing and offshoring, you will be soon. Flexibility is the name of the game, and collaboration technology is the key to achieving that flexibility in a swift and cost-efficient manner.

The result of this intersection between crisis, technology, and opportunity? Collaboration in the cloud will fundamentally change the business ecosystem, resulting in an explosion of virtual companies and nimble players, as well as savvy intrapreneurs within traditional firms.

A History of Collaboration and Collaboration Solutions
(The following section covers the history of collaboration and business. If one is to argue that a revolution is at hand, it's necessary to provide the story of how we arrived at the pivotal moment. If you're already convinced, and want to skip to practical tips on how to survive and thrive during the revolution, skip ahead to the next section, "How Does Collaboration Help Me Do More With Less?" And now, back to the story.)

Wikipedia (itself an exemplar of massively parallel collaboration) defines collaboration software as "Software designed to help people involved in a common task achieve their goals." In the end, collaboration is the heart of business. The purpose of the firm is to organize a group of people to accomplish a common task that they could not complete on their own. Capitalism is collaboration. Trade, comparative advantage, and Adam Smith's invisible hand all presume the presence of collaboration.

The evolution of capitalism and the rise of the corporation is the story of collaboration. Financiers collaborate with industrialists. Workers collaborate on assembly lines. Corporations exist to provide the necessary infrastructure for collaboration.

Historically, much of that infrastructure was physical. Factory workers need a factory to house their assembly line. Office workers need an office so that they can hold meetings and create, store, and exchange documents. The costs of coordination were such that economies of scale tended to dominate.

Assembling an automobile is an enormously complicated task, and assembling millions of automobiles requires a degree of precision and coordination that didn't exist before the rise of the corporation. It made sense for Henry Ford to vertically integrate his company, since the costs (both monetary and in terms of productivity) to organize a federation of small firms and individuals to carry out the litany of tasks involved in producing Model Ts would have been prohibitive in the extreme. Collaboration took the form of work rules, memos, and meetings, primarily within the enterprise.

More Stories By Chris Yeh

Chris Yeh is Vice President of Enterprise Marketing, PBwiki.

Comments (2) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
shirley 12/12/08 01:05:06 AM EST

We can assist here as we specialize in developing and implementing SharePoint 2007 – that’s all we do.

There is more information on this at http://www.nsynergy.com/Services/Pages/default.aspx or mail to [email protected].

FastRoundTrip 12/11/08 01:30:37 PM EST

Well put. Collaboration is definitly the future of surviving and thriving business. And not just for asynchronous collab, on the real-time side, there's a lot of excitement too. For example, http://see.nefsis.com uses true cloud computing to reduce latency in desktop sharing and live multiparty video. Cloud computing makes a fundamental improvement in roundtrip latency here, unobtainable by single-server and centralized technologies.

CloudEXPO Stories
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next-gen applications and how to address the challenges of building applications that harness all data types and sources.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed by some of the world's largest financial institutions. The company develops and applies innovative machine-learning technologies to big data to predict financial, economic, and world events. The team is a group of passionate technologists, mathematicians, data scientists and programmers in Silicon Valley with over 100 patents to their names. Big Data Federation was incorporated in 2015 and is ...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like "How is my application doing" but no idea how to get a proper answer.
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by researching target group and involving users in the designing process.
CloudEXPO New York 2018, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 12-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI and Machine Learning to one location.