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Cloud collaboration is a way of sharing and co-authoring computer files through the use of cloud computing, whereby documents are uploaded to a central "cloud" for storage, where they can then be accessed by others.

The trend now is for firms to employ a single software tool to solve all their collaboration needs, rather than having to rely on multiple different techniques. Single cloud collaboration providers are now replacing a complicated tangle of instant messengers, email and FTP.

Cloud collaboration today is promoted as a tool for collaboration internally between different departments within a firm, but also externally as a means for sharing documents with end-clients as receiving feedback. This makes cloud computing a very versatile tool for firms with many different applications in a business environment.

The best cloud collaboration tools:

  • Use real-time commenting and messaging features to enhance speed of project delivery

  • Leverage presence indicators to identify when others are active on documents owned by another person

  • Allow users to set permissions and manage other users' activity profiles

  • Allow users to set personal activity feeds and email alert profiles to keep abreast of latest activities per file or user

  • Allow users to collaborate and share files with users outside the company firewall.

  • Comply with company security and compliance framework

  • Ensure full auditability of files and documents shared within and outside the organization

  • Reduce workarounds for sharing and collaboration on large files

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