Over the past few years sharing content and collaborating on documentation via cloud services has become second nature for many employees, and with the boom in BYOD (47 percent of the global workforce is accessing documents and email via mobile devices), traditional enterprise boundaries are fading fast as effective collaboration is becoming more critical than ever before.

We’ve heard time and time again that employees are taking IT decision making into their own hands, and unsurprisingly the rate at which employees are using their own personal collaboration tools is on the rise in seventy percent of global businesses, a figure which will undoubtedly grow further as our lives become more interconnected through technology.

Common opinion blames the lack of collaborative tools on enterprise IT departments, who quite rightly cite that document and network security are the key drivers when choosing how to share documents, something which no business should be compromising on.

It’s All About Connections

The latest research by Loudhouse found that an average British decision maker manages 3,852 business connections annually, more than any other country surveyed, and well ahead of our European cousins in Germany (3,747), France (1,967), Spain (1,443) and Italy (356) and more than double those in the US (1,725).

There’s no doubt that over the next few years these figures will increase even further as enterprises and business users rely on greater communications with customers and employees, based both on and off-site, to help propel business.

But only 18 percent of employees globally describe their company as extremely effective at connecting people and sharing knowledge to move business forward, so how can we go about avoiding the “Dropbox Effect” of people using unsecure personal collaboration tools to manage an ever increasing business network?

The IT Solution

It turns out that the only reason employees are choosing to use personal collaboration tools within the business is because they aren’t provided with a suitable corporate alternative to manage this ever increasing number of business connections, something which we have been hearing from our customers all along. Business users aren’t turning to cloud applications and their own collaboration solutions in revolt against IT – they desperately need and want their help in finding a solution.

Progressive IT organisations are listening and, in fact, are often driving the use of disruptive tools despite being caught between enterprise requirements and user needs. With so much work happening outside enterprise fire walls, it is time for businesses and IT departments to pull the finger out and start working with solutions that meet both user and enterprise productivity needs.

It turns out that everyone wants the same thing: a single, easy to use, secure document sharing tool that makes collaboration easy. And the most progressive and heroic IT departments are stepping up to the challenge and bridging the gap between enterprise requirements and user needs. It’s time for IT and business users to unite.

Key Takeaways For Business Users

  • Engage IT. In general, they want to help find a solution
  • Don’t forget: IT is paid to care about security and compliance
  • We’re all on the same team. Help IT understand the business value of what you need to do so they can help find the best solution.

Key Takeaways For IT

  • Business users want and need your help finding a solution
  • They aren’t married to using USB sticks and e-mail, it’s just all they have. If you can find something better, they’ll use it
  • The easier a solution is to use, the faster they will adopt it.