Embracing Cloud Collaboration: How to Redefine Creative Productivity During an Economic Slowdown

It’s clear we are entering a period of economic turmoil as news about organizations slashing budgets and laying off employees breaks daily. The past ten years marked a golden era for startups in the form of easy access to capital. A period curtailed by inflation and a turbulent economic slowdown—pushing many to re-assess company valuations at all stages. 

Although a recession looms, leaders should view this as an opportunity to laser-focus on their fundamentals and, where possible, accelerate growth by investing in those elements that drive business efficiency. When we speak to our customers at LucidLink, primarily in the multimedia and creative space, it remains clear that consumers’ appetite for engaging media content is only increasing. As global marketing continues to grow, video as a storytelling medium, whether for entertainment or marketing, is stronger than ever—with a projected reach of $4.7 trillion by 2025.

The explosion of demand for rich media in this new economic reality, marked by austerity and cuts, leaves content creators in a conundrum. How can they produce more with less? While short-term solutions like layoffs and budget cuts occupy the headlines, we believe the answer lies deeper. The opportunity to leverage technology and address outdated workflows never designed for today’s modern workplace is massive.

Why creative productivity suffers 

Successful companies understand that content is king. High-quality and engaging content, especially video, can be a powerful driver for lead generation, brand awareness, and, ultimately, high-ROI customer acquisition. 

59% of marketers said that video marketing positively impacted ROI, and 58% plan to incorporate more videos into their marketing strategies in the future.

With the increased demand for content, we know that creative and multimedia teams need to be ready and available to produce content that resonates with their audience’s desires. But there’s a problem. The way we work changed overnight, spreading teams out geographically, and now creatives often find their workflows packed with time-consuming tasks and processes that sacrifice productivity. 

Research indicates that employees spend about 41% of their productivity time on administrative tasks. The productivity challenge is even more pronounced when the work involves large files, as with video and other rich media assets. Syncing and sharing huge sets of data for hours, shipping hard drives via post, and working asynchronously on different versions of multi-terabyte projects are just some of the productivity killers creatives face daily. This culminates in costly business inefficiency in need of dramatic improvements.

Prioritizing strategies that support creative workflows help ensure teams can focus on producing timely and relevant content that supports business goals. Temporary fixes like layoffs and cutting infrastructure only exacerbate the challenges that negatively impact workflows because they only address the effect of these inefficiencies rather than the source. Instead, businesses should consider ways to eliminate friction from existing workflows and free up their people to perform high-value-added productive work.   

Embracing collaboration in the cloud

Establishing a shared, centralized repository is key for effective collaboration, and cloud object storage is a great tool to support this. It is low-cost, scales on demand, and is highly durable. Adding a robust cloud file system to this beneficial storage medium completes the vision by mitigating the tedious tasks of constantly downloading, editing, re-uploading, and synchronizing entire files, datasets, or applications across multiple clients while working remotely. 

The good news is that modern, true cloud file systems allow users to keep their local workflows while directly accessing data in the cloud, bridging the inefficient gap between storing in the cloud and working on the edge. Businesses can leverage the advantages of the cloud while allowing users to keep their local machines and tried-and-true creative workflows, thus enabling effective remote collaboration.

On-demand access: maximizing collaboration and minimizing costs 

Companies can increase velocity while cutting costs by shifting workflows to cloud-based technology and leveraging collaboration tools. As companies shift to the cloud, they can scale back on redundant infrastructure and costly management as they move away from shipping hard drives and siloes of on-premises storage. Additionally, the cost per person is reduced as on-demand access to assets and files helps to dramatically improve productivity.  

Before LucidLink, our video team was spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on onsite storage. Now, we are able to work as a collaborative team, view each other’s work, and edit projects without delays. It is easier.

Large enterprise professional services company

Cloud collaboration tools help businesses redefine productivity by making it easier for creative teams to access and share data and files of any type or size from anywhere in real time. This helps creative and marketing teams shift their focus to creative execution and on-time delivery.

Remote collaboration: serving a global workforce 

In 2020, a global pandemic drove companies to change their day-to-day operations virtually overnight. However, even as teams transitioned from on-site to hybrid and fully remote environments, the consumer demand for engaging content increased unabated. 

When collaborating remotely, creative teams need help closing gaps in existing workflows. As projects grow in scale, teams working in, or adjacent to, media and entertainment, marketing, and advertising are encountering challenges in storing, accessing, and managing files. A fundamental part of improving productivity and efficiency is ensuring remote and hybrid teams can collaborate seamlessly on large files, no matter where they are. 

What challenges did you and your team face before finding LucidLink?

Modern cloud technology: showing immediate ROI

At LucidLink, we’ve compiled research that indicates how cloud-based tools help creative and marketing teams reduce inefficiencies in workflows, while supporting overall business objectives to boost ROI and enable a more global workforce. 

When do you expect to see the return on your investment with LucidLink?

We’ve witnessed a measurable impact on costs and productivity as our customers report substantial cost reductions from transitioning from on-prem file management to the cloud. A recent customer survey showed that 75% of LucidLink customers saw an increase in ROI within six months or less of moving their team’s workflow to the cloud—42% reported an increase as early as the first week. In an economic downturn, when companies are under increased scrutiny to show proof of ROI, these types of improvements dramatically impact long-term business goals. 

How to solve today’s productivity challenges

Business leaders should consider four critical elements when moving to the cloud to improve productivity and increase ROI. They are time management, global access, agile workflows, and data security. Companies must consider all four factors as they determine ways to maximize high-quality output while being pressed by new economic realities. 

  1. Time management 

On average, we’ve saved about eight hours a week per user from the simplicity offered by LucidLink. That adds up quickly.

Post-production supervisor,
Fair Worlds

Time management is one of the most essential areas of productivity. It’s even more so now as teams work from various places worldwide. Cloud-based tools ensure teams can easily access files and assets at all times, no matter where they’re located. Additionally, teams can stream the data they need to access in real time in the cloud.  We’ve received feedback from customers who report, on average, saving about eight productivity hours per week per person using LucidLink. This is a game changer for creative and marketing teams as it nearly eliminates the delays caused by downloading or syncing files—allowing them to focus on execution and creative output.

  1. Global access

Cloud tools enable a global workforce—helping companies leverage 24/7 production across different time zones as teams collaborate seamlessly on projects. Instead of being limited to a regional talent pool, cloud capabilities open up companies to a more global talent pool, allowing them to hire individuals with diverse experiences and skill sets. Using the cloud, companies are effortlessly merging teams across various locations and, in many cases, handling workflows more efficiently than in the past when teams were located under one roof.

  1. Agile workflows 

To keep up with the speed and complexity of today’s market, businesses are adopting new ways of working. Having agile workflows and processes in place helps teams unleash creativity and boost outputs. Cloud solutions like LucidLink support agile workflows and are designed to pair easily with the platforms and tools creative teams use daily.

In addition, many product and content teams are finding agile frameworks to be proven effective for eliminating inter-team silos, streamlining processes, and accelerating output. This makes it easier for teams to close gaps across departments, from marketing and design to legal, accounting, executive leadership, and other essential stakeholders. Overall, an agile work environment supports businesses by enhancing efficiency and increasing creative output—allowing companies to meet market demands with less strain on teams. 

  1. Data security

For many companies, data is the lifeblood that affects almost every aspect of the business. That’s why it’s so crucial for business leaders to ensure their company’s data is safe and secure. Cloud-based technologies utilize the shared responsibility model to ensure data is configured securely by both the cloud provider and the customer. 

Advanced encryption methods, like LucidLink’s “Zero-Knowledge” encryption, protect data as it moves onto the cloud network to and from other applications. These precautions ensure that even if data is lost, stolen, or mistakenly shared, its contents remain virtually useless to anyone outside the company.

Final thoughts

We are about 25% more efficient in our workflow and saving as much in billable hours.

Thomas Shull,
Principal at Stuck in Motion

A recession may not affect consumer demands as some expect, which is why business leaders must consider the long term when reassessing critical business objectives and budget strategies. Short-term solutions like layoffs are less successful when multimedia content demands remain high. Empowering content and creative teams with the right tools to enable productive workflows ensures they can continue to execute and deliver their best work. Companies transitioning to cloud-based technologies are taking a significant step toward supporting creative teams while ensuring their business remains responsive when economic conditions become uncertain or market demand shifts.