We are living in a new era of collaboration. The way we work and share information has changed dramatically over the past decade. Much of the change in collaboration is being driven by the availability of highly accessible, low cost cloud based collaboration solutions. Gone are the days of IT-mandated collaboration and content management systems that were often rigid, created information silos and didn’t meet needs of the user.
The shadow IT movement is proof that I.T. mandated systems failed to hit the mark. A recent report from Skyhigh Networks stated that “The average organization uses 174 distinct collaboration services (e.g. Cisco WebEx, Evernote, etc.) followed by 61 file sharing services (e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) …”
To put it plainly, users are demanding the freedom to choose the solution that best fits their needs. In fact, there is a trend emerging where IT departments are now supporting users’ decisions to have the freedom to choose in an effort to bring use of unsanctioned solutions out of the shadows. One thing is for certain, across every organization content is constantly moving between users, platforms and devices. No one organization will standardize on a single ECM, collaboration, or file sync and share platform. As a result, content will always be in motion.
With all of this user freedom one has to wonder how IT provides the necessary controls over a broad collection of collaboration platforms. Balancing user freedom with IT control will be a major challenge for most organizations. Consider that each collaboration platform deployment will require assistance with a whole host of activities. These include the initial deployment and migration of content along with auditing user activity, managing internal and external access to content, backup and item level recovery, archiving and protection from the risk of exposing sensitive content. In many cases the out-of-the-box tooling provided by the collaboration platform only provide a partial solution.
Historically IT departments have sought out point solutions or developed custom solutions to provide support for all aspects of managing collaboration platforms. Such an approach worked well with one or two primary collaboration platforms but will fall short as user freedom results in investment in a broader set of solutions. With IT on the hook to provide oversight, management and control, it leaves you wondering where they will turn for a consolidated solution for managing an organizations entire portfolio of collaboration and content management investments.