Cloud-based tools 2.0: My wish list    

by | May 18, 2017

As I wrote in an earlier

blog post

, the Mod Op Strategic Consulting office is essentially an entirely outsourced digital workspace. We use cloud-based apps to manage  practically everything, including documents, time sheets, collaboration and projects.

As terrific as many of them are, our experience with these tools leaves me wishing for more. Here is a list of features and functionalities I’d like to see developed or improved in the next wave of innovation for cloud-based productivity tools:

  • Integrated expense reporting. I would like to use my phone to take pictures of my receipts, and in the same app submit my expense report. If that app can be connected to my calendar, and automatically identify the reason for the expense, better yet.
  • Integrated meetings, planning and note-taking. Why do I have to constantly toggle between my calendar, screen sharing, video conferencing and note-taking applications?
  • Better collaboration tools. When colleagues are holding meetings I may not know about or can’t attend, I might still want to weigh in. Better topic-tagging of meeting notes and integration with company-wide discussion forums would be killer. In this way, we could all participate when our expertise applies and not just in meetings to which we’ve been invited.
  • Seamless workflow, chat and document storage. I would like a solution that I can keep all my processes and tasks in, have it provide me with reminders, allow me to kick off repeating processes and interconnect with my colleagues. It should also provide an audit trail of tasks and actions, and should be interconnected with our document storage solution.

Yes, there are vendors that have bits of what I’m describing above, but I’m eager to see more no-brainer integrated solutions like we’ve seen in point solutions like Slack and Google Docs. Also there are options – like Zapier – that connect data and transactions between solutions. This is useful, but is only one step in the right direction.

Fortunately, the trend in this space is indeed toward continual integration of these solutions. I expect these wishes are about to be granted over the next couple years.

Oh, one other thing on my wish list: I’d love the ability to track our use of SaaS and apps in a company, maximizing license utilization, accurate accounting, ease of use.

What’s on your list? What solutions are emerging that ring your bell? Shoot me a note at

[email protected]


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