Soccer is a sport that demands skillful footwork, bursts of speed, on-point accuracy and flawless communication between team members. And it all needs to happen in real-time while the competition is bearing down on you. While your organization may not compete at the global soccer competition this summer, it does depend on you to provide the tools that make your team more efficient and competitive in the global marketplace.

Your business is only as successful as the talent you hire and the technology you provide for helping teams work together more easily. The Millennial generation of workers is fundamentally redefining the workplace and collaboration tools play a key role in this transformation. In this third installment in a blog series on the shifting landscape of collaboration technology, we take a closer look at how collaboration tools are migrating to the cloud and what that means for the future of work.

Many collaboration tools have disparate platforms often with dedicated hardware and applications suites that required their own maintenance efforts, contracts and management protocols. Collaboration tools are now moving to the cloud. That’s a good thing for the teams and for IT.

Cloud-based collaboration tools make it easier for teams to stay connected from anywhere around the globe, provide more flexibility in the kinds of devices employees use and allow team members to easily share resources. The scalability of the cloud also means that organizations can easily add more capabilities as their business and teams grow rather than attempting to add hardware on-premise.

This cloud migration also recognizes that today’s workforce is highly mobile. Employees don’t want to feel tied to their desks or offices. This generation grew up with smart phones that put the world at their fingertips and is used to communicate and access information in an instant. They expect the same out of their work environment. A cloud-based platform can be everywhere your workforce is and accessed on any device employees want to use.

Cloud-based collaboration tools allow teams to communicate in real-time without having to be in the same place, building or even continent. From the cloud, teams also have more – and more secure – access to more corporate resources than before. This opens up new ways for teams to work together. With 24/7 global accessibility, workers no longer need to worry about time zones. They can access, update and share files from anywhere in the world using any web browser or mobile device. And with automatic synching, files are always up-to-date.

But it’s not just the workforce that benefits. Moving collaboration tools to the cloud makes it easier for IT by simplifying application deployment and maintenance through eliminating lengthy software downloads or time-consuming specialized hardware installations. The vendor handles all the software updates, implements bug fixes and adds new features or functionality automatically across the entire platform. In addition, the collaboration function can be mainstreamed with other managed services and applications. Enabled across the software-defined network, collaboration becomes a natural part of working rather than a place workers “go to” for resources and information.

And it is all under IT’s control.

This does raise some issues for the transition that might vary for different organizations. Small businesses might be able to leap immediately to the cloud with little invested in other solutions. Larger enterprises might face a longer transition as they seek to combine the flexibility and convenience of the cloud model with the reliability of premises-based solutions. This transition is not lost on some providers as well who are making moves to shift their own services to the cloud. That consolidation might worry some organizations as they could be forced into decisions before they are ready. The key is to put your own plan in place, using trusted advisors who understand where you are and can help you plan where you’re going.

CenturyLink advisors have the skills and tools to help organizations move to a cloud-based collaboration platform. With our Unified Collaboration and Communications solutions, CenturyLink offers the latest in cloud-based services in addition to partnerships with leading cloud and collaboration platform vendors, such as Amazon, Cisco and Microsoft.

In a rapidly changing marketplace, speed and accuracy are critical and having the right tools can mean the difference between winning and losing. Let’s talk about how CenturyLink can help you move your team to the cloud. Does your organization have the right team on the field?

Let’s combine our skills with yours to hit your target goal.


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