For users working on complex projects, or teams collaborating on long term initiatives, consistent real-time access to content is essential. More and more, individuals find themselves needing to work on the go, and they demand a storage and collaboration solution that empowers them to do so. With multiple deadlines, constant input from teammates, and a host of other pressures on their roster, being able to reach your content whenever you need it, wherever you are is vital.
For organizations that employ on on-premises storage, this essential capability is not nearly as easy as it should be. If they’re able to access stored files and folders at all, users have to rely on nightmarish VPNs that make it far more difficult than necessary to get to what they need. On top of this, the user interfaces of these servers are often difficult to navigate, especially if the mobile user isn’t working from a desktop device. When all is said and done, while on-premises storage can offer remote access, the quality of the experiences means that it might as well not offer it at all.
Cloud collaboration platforms, on the other hand, have long pushed the boundaries on the mobile user experience, making it simpler than ever for users and teams to keep in constant contact with their most precious files. With mobile access becoming more and more essential for many users, we thought we’d look at three of the best elements that sum up the value of the mobile cloud experience, and demonstrate why so many businesses see mobile as a crucial motivator when it comes to migration.
Ease of Use
It’s one thing to be able to access your content remotely. It’s another thing to be able to comfortably work with it once you have it in front of you. Keeping this in mind, cloud providers such as OneDrive, Box, and Google Drive have designed mobile user interfaces that make working remotely easier than every, whether from a phone, a tablet, or a laptop.
With cloud collaboration platforms, the wealth of features available to users are not chained down to your desk at work, and they haven’t been excluded from the mobile applications that you rely on when you’re out and about. Need to edit something? Need to share something? Need to manage permissions on a folder? These functions are all available remotely, so you don’t feel as though you have to work off a lame imitation of the platform when you’re working remotely.
While it might at first seem superficial, interface design is more essential to productivity than many organizations give it credit for. In this day and age, most users are working from multiple devices at any given time. With complex storage and collaboration solutions, it’s incredibly important that the logic of the desktop version translate to the logic of the mobile version and so on. Many solutions fail to recognize that, leaving users feeling like they have to relearn the entire platform any time they open it on a different type of device.
Cloud collaboration platforms understand this frustration, and a quick test drive of their mobile features will immediately prove it.
Real Time Connection
When you’re working on a collaborative project–be it a document, a slideshow, or a spreadsheet, it’s vital that all parties communicate. If they don’t, they might find themselves duplicating efforts, undermining each other without knowing it, or even removing changes and additions that were going to be integral from another party’s perspective.
Real-time editing, which allows users to see their teammates making changes as they’re typing, is one of the best elements of cloud collaboration platforms–saving teams the hassle of sending dozens of versions of a given project back and forth until they lose track of what changes have been made by whom, and what still needs to be done.
Having this same feature present in mobile versions of these platforms ensures that no matter where you are you’re always abreast of what is going on with your team, and how different projects are progressing. You’ll never come into work with the wrong version of a document, or realize that while you were away the changes you thought you needed to make were made by someone else. Proper mobile solutions make it as though you’re with your team and in the office at all times. You’re never out of the loop.
Many of the benefits of cloud collaboration platforms are ultimately magnified in importance when it comes to mobile usage. Users on the go often need their tools streamlined, travel-size if you will. Cloud collaboration platforms–which allow you to store hundreds of terabytes of data in what amounts to your pocket are sort of the platonic ideal of this need.
One of the key strengths of cloud storage solutions is the fact that they provide access to dozens of different tools and features all in one place. Integrated with applications as diverse as Slack and DocuSign, cloud platforms such as Dropbox or SharePoint Online make it so that users don’t find themselves constantly jumping between multiple tabs or tools in order to accomplish basic tasks. Everything they need is centralized.
When you’re working from a tablet or a phone, the importance of this is only amplified. Opening and closing dozens of widgets could drive you crazy, but for mobile users whose organizations rely on on-premises storage, that’s the only experience they’ll have. After all, even if they’re able to access the server-stored content on the go, that provides them with the files, but not the tools to actually work with them.
Cloud collaboration platforms don’t force you to download any content you don’t need or install any extraneous tools. You can edit within the app using the array of features offered by the cloud provider.
Everything is simple. Everything is central.
The Cloud in Your Pocket
There are far more unique mobile benefits to cloud collaboration platforms than just these three examples, but these perhaps do the best job encapsulating the key values of the experience.
A mobile platform should be easy to use in the circumstances when you’re likely to rely on it. It should keep you in touch with the content you need no matter where you are. Finally, it should provide you with all the benefits of the platform’s other versions; you shouldn’t feel short changed.
Whichever cloud platform you opt to migrate to, your users will immediately notice how much easier mobile features make their lives. Furthermore, you’ll immediately notice just how much this means to your organization’s overall productivity.
Cloud collaboration is as powerful and as popular as it is, because it’s not just designed to change your office experience. It’s built to change your working experience everywhere!