The need to collaborate, communicate and work with independent people and organisations is nothing new. However, in order to maximise productivity and collaboration, especially for those contractors outside your organisation, you need to ensure that the right tools and platforms are available to all.

Historically this has been via email, unsecured file shares and unproductive platforms that do not lend themselves to adequate collaboration, particularly for those outside of your organisation.

So what are the main factors needed to support better collaboration for both internal and external users?

1.     Ease of Communication

Technology to support easy communication is a key factor. This will enable both internal and external users to quickly get to know each other. A choice of video conferencing, instant messaging, threaded group email and screen sharing should be given to enhance the communication between groups, organisations and users.

2.     File Sharing

Access to and collaboration with shared documents and files has always been fraught with problems for both administrators and end users. Choosing a platform that allows your users to collaborate on documents and files across devices, timezones and locations is absolutely key in ensuring productivity. Additionally ease of applying and revoking permissions to specific files, documents and repositories is an essential part of file share housekeeping.

3.     Authoring

The ability to co-author documents reduces risk and increases collaboration by preventing constant ’email tennis’ of attachments. Automated synchronisation of shared documents ensures real time views of the most up to date information, accessible from anywhere on any device.

4.     Securing your Information

The ability to easily collaborate while retaining control is essential in information assurance and compliance. Regardless of device, you need a platform that will both revoke and remove organisational content from external users devices.

While technology can’t solve every problem that organisations face, it can certainly help them manage challenges much more effectively than they would have done. Office 365 and SharePoint is the leader in collaborative innovation by a considerable distance, and has become the model to replicate.

The right tools can help your organisation collaborate both internally and externally, increasing efficiency and supporting team working.