We’ve seen it again and again: cloud collaboration for software companies can accelerate their success in surprising ways. And because software companies a number of unique characteristics, some of the benefits of cloud collaboration aren’t immediately visible they way they might be for other types of businesses.
Namely, software companies rely on disparate teams, with very different skillsets, working together to create a finished, polished product. It means pulling together sales, customer service, and technical teams toward a common goal. And for many companies, that’s far more difficult a task than it might sound.
It’s like Git for people
Programming teams have pretty reliable ways of communicating and collaborating with each other about the code that they’re working on, and the biggest of all those is Git. Git is a free, open-source way to track changes in computer files and coordinate those files among multiple people. It includes built-in version control and collaboration tools like pull requests, which help two or more programmers resolve a bug, or a difference in opinion as to how to develop a certain feature.
Cloud collaboration tools are the human version of Git. Instead of managing files, G Suite or Office 365 can be used to pull together disparate ideas into a single location so that the entire team can work from the same page about the most pressing issues. Working simultaneously on a single document, for example, isn’t all that different from two programmers merging their codebases together.
Reliable ways to communicate customer concerns to technical teams
Speaking of issues—software companies have a unique responsibility to quickly iterate based on customer feedback, whether those are bug reports or feature requests. Most software companies, from startups to large conglomerates, have certain people on staff to deal with these concerns and placate frustrated customers, but they specialize in communication, not programming. They need to be able to quickly and effectively translate those concerns to the people who can make them happen.
Cloud collaboration tools give the big thinkers a number of different ways to help programmers understand these concerns, from text documents to spreadsheets to presentations. Google Hangouts or Skype Meetings can get people into the same virtual room, even if teams are located far apart.
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Tackle difficult problems, creatively
Unlike a manufacturing company, for example, it’s much easier for software companies to rapidly iterate and change their business plan based on feedback and business climates. A number of successful companies “pivoted” at some point, but that only works if everyone in the company is able to work together to figure out what isn’t working and what needs to be done next.
We’ve seen companies get massive amounts of big-picture value in giving all their employees space to think big and get some of the biggest concerns, ideas, and innovations onto the page—or, in this case, the cloud-based document. Better yet, constant auto-saving and automatic live updates means that no one gets left behind because a file didn’t sync correctly, or they’re opening business-plan-final-v10.docx instead of business-PLAN-final-v10-REAL-FINAL.docx.
Access your work from anywhere
As mentioned before, Git helps programmers access their code from anywhere, but if someone is working remotely without other cloud collaboration software, they won’t have access to any other internal documents about bigger plans for the business. Both G Suite and Office 365 offer fileserver options that, essentially, put all that person’s necessary files in a cloud “locker” that can be accessed from anywhere—even when there’s no internet connection.
Perfect for those finicky coffee shops.
Put everyone on the same page
Most important, cloud collaboration tools will help software companies get everyone, no matter which department they’re working in, onto the same page. We see, every day, the rapid success that software companies can experience in moving some or all of their services in the cloud. By treating all their business operations and communication paths they way they might their codebase, software companies are able to ensure everyone understands the company’s full picture to make better decisions about how to move things forward.