The new age of digital collaboration is on us. Professionals are communicating and collaborating through innovative cloud-based technologies, mobile apps and productivity tools. An employee living in Texas can access, edit, collaborate and share thoughts about a shared document with co-workers in New York, China, California, Paris, or anywhere else, all in real-time. Simply put, technology has increased workplace collaboration and productivity in previously unimaginable ways, giving professionals the ability to work where they want, when they want.
Concerns and Challenges
But this new age of collaboration does come with its own set of unique challenges and concerns. Chief among those is security and data protection. It’s vital that businesses have processes in place to ensure their teams are collaborating securely, and that only the right people have access to sensitive business documents, such as contracts, invoices, proprietary company information, and more. Having the right workflow processes and security authentication measures for sensitive documents is an invaluable aspect of collaborative document management. These areas can impact companies that rely on monitoring document status and security between users and across entire project teams.
Best Practices for Secure Collaboration
By following these best practices below, you can take full advantage of everything collaboration document management can offer your employees and your customers. Set Clear Project Expectations From the Start Your team needs to know exactly how a project and its documents will function and progress from the beginning. It’s important to define clear expectations, such as setting deadlines for scheduled updates, processes for updating and storing key project documents. Develop procedures to identify and monitoring document management issues that may come up. Structure is imperative to any project’s success, particularly when working with a virtual team.
Define Team Member’s Roles
Each person working on the project needs to have a clearly defined role. When collaborating on documents together, this helps to understand document status and changes. For example, one team member may have overall responsibility for the legal language; another’s role might be to edit and proofread the document for accuracy.
Educate Team Members on Security Protocol
Using tablets in the field allows mobile access to documents for your team members. In doing so, they need to understand security protocol. Your group members should know how to protect sensitive documents and keep them out of unauthorized hands. Make sure everyone knows where documents are to be stored, how to access them, and how to protect their accounts (e.g. changing passwords regularly, encrypting data, using secure networks, signing out of accounts when on public computers, being aware of over-the-shoulder readers, etc.).
Use Proven, Secure Collaboration Tools
Not all collaborative document management tools are created equally. Look for a collaborative document management solution for your virtual team that aids in boosting efficiency and security. Team administrators and managers should be able to build and control document flow between mobile employees and the office, all from the cloud. Mobile employees need to able to read, edit and annotate documents on the go. There should also be ease of use in filling in PDF forms and signing documents.
Create Personalized Workflows
Managing a secure document environment across mobile tablets out in the field ensures that a company can digitally speed up its current paper-driven approval processes. Great collaborative document management increases efficiency and improved workflow processes. When team members are scattered all over the world, keeping everyone on the same page can be challenging. By automating your document workflow, your company can re-allocate time back to revenue-generating activities. A good collaborative document management solution should put people at ease rather than add more worries. People and businesses work best when they work together, in groups or at some mutual meeting place. An great solution combines 1) security for all documents, sensitive or not, 2) a storage space for document visibility and 3) a useful and instinctive interface to promote collaboration for any group or department, large or small.