Cloud

The cloud: Without intelligence, we’re back to where we started

NOTE: GrowthBeat -- VentureBeat's provocative new marketing-tech event -- is a week away! We've gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last.

This sponsored post is produced by Alastair Mitchell, CEO of Huddle.

Legacy technology – such as SharePoint – was designed to keep enterprise content inside the firewall and the outside world, out. In the pre-internet era, this was all well and good but for today’s workforce, traditional technology presents significant challenges.

Today, the enterprise ecosystem extends beyond the firewall. People need to work effectively not only with the people sitting next to them or other teams within their organization, but their entire enterprise ecosystem of customers, partners and stakeholders beyond organizational boundaries. Having the ability to work across the firewall is no longer a “nice-to-have.” It’s vital to maintaining competitive advantage. A McKinsey report on enterprise software revealed that technology-enabled external collaboration resulted in companiesachieving higher operating margins and gaining market share from the competition. Suddenly, pre-internet era systems aren’t so smart. To work with everyone you need to across the firewall using traditional software, significant infrastructure work is required followed by a slow design and deployment process. Cue people sending email attachments and using FTP sites to get around this hurdle, causing enterprise security and governance problems.

The new way of working is also mobile. People want to work when on the move, at home or in remote offices from their device of choice: tablet, smartphone or laptop. Once again, traditional technology fails to accommodate today’s workforce. Built to keep information in silos and within an organization’s four walls, many legacy systems fail to provide users with mobile access or native applications. So how do you access the information you need, from any device and work effectively with everyone you need to? The answer is the cloud.

Working securely across the firewall, on any device, surely cloud services must be every worker’s dream? Well yes, but with the cloud comes a couple of key issues. If each and every worker within a business turns to personal cloud services to store their enterprise files, you not only have the associated security risks, but information is fragmented across the enterprise. If files aren’t stored centrally where everyone in the business can access them, knowledge can’t be shared. Similarly, in organizations that have enterprise-wide cloud systems, breaking down silos and increasing knowledge sharing, people may find themselves drowning in enterprise data. This is a problem that will continue to haunt people worldwide unless they choose a service that isn’t just cloud-based, but intelligent.

Consider the amount of data that is currently stored on your on-premise enterprise ICT system: HR policies, board reports, marketing materials, sales collateral, financial documents, contracts for partners, suppliers and customers, the list is endless. With such a mountain of information available, finding the content you need, when you need it can be a nightmare. The number of hours you could waste sifting  through files to find what you need, reading comments and feedback, establishing which version is the most up-to-date, could amount to days! And, with the growth of Web 2.0 technologies, the explosion of data in the business world is set to continue. Data is now being stored not only on servers, but PCs, smartphones and tablets to name just a few storage options.  According to the IDC “Digital Universe Study,” sponsored by EMC, global digital content created will increase some 30 times over the next ten years—to 35 zettabytes (that’s a trillion gigabytes). Shifting your enterprise content store to a cloud storage facility may solve the external access and mobile working challenges you faced with an on-premise system, but it doesn’t reduce the time spent trying to locate what you need or replicating business documents because you aren’t aware that they already exist. In today’s fast moving, digital economy these hours could be invested into something far more beneficial to your business such as establishing how to monetize all of this data!

One of Huddle’s key differentiators is the intelligence inherent in the global content collaboration platform. Unlike traditional enterprise content management systems, Huddle addresses the needs of the modern workplace, opening up content silos and enabling people to share, discover and work on content wherever, whenever and with whomever they need to. In today’s knowledge economy, where the amount of content being created is growing exponentially, intelligence is going to become a must-have attribute for enterprise content management software. Huddle responds to the needs of employees’ today. It pushes files that users need to review, approve and comment on to their preferred device for offline viewing and presents them with their to-do list. New tasks can be added as soon as they come to mind and, with just one tap, items can be assigned and completed. The cloud needs to offer enterprises more than just secure storage; it needs to be smart otherwise we’ll end up back at square one, drowning in data.

Sponsored posts are content that has been produced by a company, which is either paying for the post or has a business relationship with VentureBeat, and they’re always clearly marked. The content of news stories produced by our editorial team is never influenced by advertisers or sponsors in any way. For more information, contact garrett@venturebeat.com.