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Undressing the Ups and Downs of Data Collaboration

 
data-collaboration

The continual reworking and reshaping of business culture and the endless forward march of technology means that there will always be a constant search for the best way for industries and institutions to be in continuous communication. Sharing information in real time across multiple platforms, portals and share points in the cloud is how business is done in today’s world, and anyone who isn’t following suit will be left in the dust. But before jumping onto the cloud computing bandwagon, let’s slow down a second and do our homework to explore the ups and downs of data collaboration.

The Upside

Distributing cost helps reduce paperwork, hardware purchases, reduces transaction fees, and reduces the need for in-house IT staff. It’s a nice way to avoid large upfront capital expense, allowing businesses to make smaller payments and have a chance to progress in a more organic way while risking less.

Updates are very fast, and practically instant. The latest versions, product enhancements and features can be revised and reworked instantly, smaller and more frequently and in the background with minimal or no impact on the system or its users. Because these upgrades are through the service provider and not a physical IT department, and because all users are running the same platform, better support and ability to fix problems is a big bonus.

There is room to grow in the cloud. Most cloud computing services offer scalable options for businesses, allowing them to subscribe only to the services they’ll use. With this system in place, as a business thrives, it can accommodate more server space and products over time instead of all at once.

The Downsides

Security has never been more important. While systems are always designed to be ironclad, hackers are also working just as hard to break into big data. Therefore, no matter how fortified the walls are, keeping data in the cloud will always carry a small element of risk.

Privacy has never been more important. The rules and regulations of who has access to what and how data is monitored is a huge issue at the moment. Highly regulated industries must keep strict and concrete rules, while also keeping out of sensitive private materials.

To update or not update, that is the question. You may not need every update that is available for data collaboration services. Deciding whether to choose a static model or a subscription model for the types of database services you’ll need, when descriptions of services and models can still be a bit murky from vendor to vendor can be time consuming, confusing and a pain to maintain. The risks should not be ignored, but the way to stronger integration is hands down through data collaboration, and the shift toward this is not a passing trend, it’s an essential reality. Developments in security, as well as privacy regulations, continue to be better defined. The occasional challenges will be few, but the benefits will be many.  

Charlie Alsmiller

Throughout his career, Charlie Alsmiller has focused on customer problems in difficult industries such as Energy and Telecommunications. Prior to starting Appterra in 2005, Alsmiller was VP of Global Operations for Allegro Development, a leading provider of software for the energy sector. He has also served as president of OmniSpace Technologies, a leading SaaS provider that he founded in 1999. He spent over 10 years in the consulting world with Price Waterhouse and Deloitte Consulting, where he participated in a wide variety of projects for very high profile clients. Mr. Alsmiller holds a BBA from Baylor University in Management and Information Systems and a MBA from the University of Dallas in International Business. Specialties: Technology ventures, Enterprise Software, Contract Negotiation, International Operations, Private Equity, Product Management, Strategic Alliances, Software Implementation, Software Development

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