Author: Jim Lundy Date: April 17, 2013
Topic: Collaboration Research Note Number: 2013-14
Issue: What are the trends impacting collaboration in the enterprise?
Issue: What are the technologies and architectures that enterprises should leverage?
Summary: The growth and migration of collaboration suites to the cloud is a key trend for 2013. Key areas to watch are pervasive video, unified presence and socially enabled work.
Collaboration inside and outside the enterprise has never been more important. Cloud computing is going to be a critical way to help people work together more seamlessly. This research note reviews five key collaboration trends in 2013.
1. The March to the Cloud
For a growing number of enterprises, office communication and collaboration suites are leading candidates for moving to the cloud. Cloud computing promises more agile deployment, lower costs, a smaller maintenance and support staff, and pay-as-you go incremental growth. Combined with flexible client choices and support for the needs of an “anytime, anywhere” workforce, enterprises are finding the cloud-enabled office to be a preferred workplace.
Hosted vs. SaaS
The least expensive option is a shared model like “software as a service” (SaaS). Some vendors offer a dedicated email option, either direct or via partners, in which they run your email for you on a dedicated server (hosted). Either way, service level agreements (SLAs) are critical. In some cases, replication and auto-recovery of dedicated hosted offerings may not be as automated as with a SaaS offering (see Note 1 and Note 2).
Hybrid Cloud: Not Just for Large Enterprises
Enterprises with significant investments in on-premise hardware and software should also look at hybrid cloud deployment options, where cloud applications can be integrated with those that are on premise. For real-time collaboration and communication, this is a great way to leverage existing environments.
Hybrid cloud implementations can be provided on-premise as a personal cloud, via the public cloud, or as a combination that may also integrate with existing non-cloud on-premise configurations. The ability to switch between styles greatly improves flexibility. Important advantages of the hybrid approach include more direct control over highly sensitive information, tighter integration with other back-end systems and reduced latency in handling very large files.
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