All-in On Cloud Collaboration

BrandPost By Pete Bartolik
Feb 02, 2021
Collaboration SoftwareSmall and Medium Business

Improving usage and security hygiene are key topics for making progress

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Credit: iStock

Cloud collaboration has proved its value during the COVID-19 pandemic to the extent it has likely advanced by a number of years the transformation of work-oriented collaboration. It’s also raised issues about how to best secure a vastly expanded digital environment and on how to train workers to utilize their new tools most effectively and productively.

In a lively #IDGTECHtalk Twitter chat on Jan. 28, moderated by Isaac Sacolick and sponsored by @GlobalNTT, a bevy of participants weighed in on how they believe we’ve been impacted by cloud collaboration and what needs to happen to improve our use of these new tools.

Just think how far we’ve come over the past year:

#Cloud #Collaboration can link up #diverse teams.  It can break down country or subsidiary borders.  It can create v-team potential across departments to accomplish “big rock” goals.  It can create people #networking never before seen. #IDGTechTalk Wayne Anderson@DigitalSecArch

Beyond better collaboration, cloud communications enhances partner, customer and prospect #engagement. As @DigitalSecArch notes, completely new communities spring to life. Hopefully better business ideas follow too. Adam Stein@apstein2

The benefits of the shift to cloud collaboration extend beyond simply linking people together, although not without growing pains:

For the org, there may be a resource benefit, 1) for administration overhead & 2) for costs of equipment & service (POTS & infra vs. IP, terminal/phones). The QoS also needs to match or be better (recent Slack outage) Amélie E. Koran@webjedi

Security looms large with cloud collaboration multifactor authentication (MFA) can be a big factor, although not likely the complete solution: 

MFA is great. Some firms treat it like a #infosec magic. But @rogeragrimes writes in ‘Hacking Multifactor Authentication’, it is far from bullet-proof.  Excellent security. But not security nirvana as some of the #MFA vendors will tell you. Ben Rothke@benrothke

That being said, #MFA still radically reduces account compromise rate we see across @Microsoft365 accounts.  Customers with #ZeroTrust identity inspection and #CASB with effective device/zone policies further reduce compromise windows. Wayne Anderson@DigitalSecArch

Increased reliance on cloud communications also depends on good security hygiene, just as it was when everything was on-premises:

What about the newly remote organizations who are tackling remote collaboration debt? Poor security choices, negligent collaboration platform investments, and no formal governance? Remote work was once a privilege, now it’s SOP for some orgs. Will Kelly@willkelly

It’s important to school workers on good security practices, and one participant offered up a good way to make sure reminders are always at hand.

Create checklists for remote employees, perhaps print them on a coffee mug and ship it to them.

– Always on VPN – Always https – Links in emails are landmines – Always use MFA (when available) Sarbjeet Johal@sarbjeetjohal

Here’s a sampling of tips participants offered for encouraging employee adoption of cloud communications:

Success strategies:

– make people feel comfortable in learning new tech – recognize that #WFH is not the office – be firm and diligent about adhering to security protocols, but guide by   discussing mistakes rather than punish – trust but verify Steven Prentice@StevenPrentice

Provide training (adoption + change management) + clear governance + ongoing support. Get outside support if need be. Introduce features slowly rather than overwhelm. You want to avoid confusion and rejection and be sure you take people with you on the journey. simonsanders@simonsanders

There were many recommendations, too many to fully cover here, on how to improve collaboration and get people on board. Check out more of the discussion at @idgtechtalk and learn how NTT can help: