A ‘fragmented’ approach to collaboration has created workplace inefficiencies, says Dropbox


Daniel Iversen, head of solutions architecture (APAC), Dropbox

File sharing and collaboration platform Dropbox will deploy a proxy server as a Point-of-Presence (POP) in Sydney within two months to accommodate user growth across the ANZ region, according to Daniel Iversen, the company’s head of solutions architecture (APAC).

“Dropbox has experienced extraordinary growth in the region over the last 12 months,” Iversen told Dynamic Business. “44% of the ASX 200 have a Dropbox Business account, up from 34% last year, and 99% of ASX200 companies have a Dropbox footprint of some kind.

“We know that the ANZ market is an early adopter of technology and is forward-leaning when it comes to trends, tools, and collaboration. Our data shows that our local customers are the highest users of Dropbox through mobile devices and the rate of adoption of Dropbox’s collaborative workspace Paper in ANZ is amongst the highest in the world.

“The decision to invest in the local PoP is a direct response to this growth. It will deliver an enhanced experience to local users with better performance and faster upload and download speeds. While there are many variables that will determine the exact improvement in speed of uploads and downloads, when a PoP was installed in Japan, users saw uploads become up to 100% faster and downloads become up to 50% faster. We anticipate that the experience will be consistent for our users across Australia and New Zealand.”

Iversen also revealed that the number of local business clients sharing files internationally has nearly doubled since 2014, increasing from 21.1% to 40.8%. He attributed this growth to an increasing number of business across the ANZ not only becoming “globally-minded” but also fostering a “culture of collaboration, both internally and externally”.

He added, “A major trend we are seeing is the need to make external collaboration simple, effective and productive. Specifically, businesses are building their network of partners, suppliers, consultants, advisors etc, and all these external parties need to collaborate with each other.”

Nevertheless, Iversen said workplace collaboration remains “extremely fragmented”. He explained, “In a typical organisation, a team’s information is scattered across a number of channels, including email, the company server, a user’s desktop, private folders and so forth”. He pointed to research highlighting the inefficiencies that arise when the means of collaboration and communication are scattered:

  • Research from McKinsey indicates that improved communication and collaboration can increase productivity by as much as 20-25%. This gives an indication of how much productive work you could be losing out on if you or the people in your business aren’t working collaboratively and communicating effectively.
  • Another McKinsey study shows that 60% of our time is spent managing work, and only 40% of the time is actually doing it – that’s three days a week of non-productivity and wasted human potential
  • Research from Carleton University reveals that the average worker spends a total of 17 hours or a third of their work week on emails. That is far too long.
  • The average worker spends 20% of their week looking for internal information or tracking down colleagues who can help with specific tasks.”