Organisations will drop email for collaboration tools, says BG Group CIO

By Danny Palmer
13 Aug 2014 View Comments

Collaboration tools such as the suite from file-sharing firm Box are becoming so useful to BG Group that the software will eventually replace emails as a way of sharing files and documents, the multinational oil and gas firm's global CIO Angus McCallum has told Computing.

With employees spread across 24 countries, collaboration is an integral part of BG Group operations, as McCallum explained.

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"Collaboration is key and it's becoming even more key. What it's demonstrating as we bring in some of these collaboration tools is that you move away from what I'd call a hub and spoke company to much more inclusive company where people talk across countries," he said.

"It's much easier to maintain contact with each other rather than everything going through a central office."

BG Group hasn't been using enterprise collaboration software for long, but McCallum is already convinced that it represents the future of secure document sharing, not just for the oil firm but for business in general.

"[In future] collaboration is going to be absolutely key and I think there'll be a transition away from email towards document links and Facebook-style methods of communicating in organisations."

The firm has recently completed a successful trial of enterprise cloud storage and file sharing service Box, which has impressed McCallum to such an extent that he plans to provide it across the entire BG Group.

"We've done successful pilots with Box and we'll start to roll that out, enabling people to share documents much easier," he said, citing the ability to easily and securely access files on any type of device as a major reason for selecting the tool.

"It's the collaboration element, but also being able to access it from a variety of devices, because some people survive off their phone, some people love a PC, some love a tablet and some use all three, and it's catering to that as well," McCallum said.

In a recent interview with Computing, Gatwick Airport CIO Michael Ibbitson described how he also opted for Box as an enterprise collaboration tool, with secure document sharing as the principal reason.

"A key element with Box was security," he explained. "Box had all the required security compliance certifications we needed to make sure our data was protected if it was held in their data centres."

Ibbitson added that a command and control feature which can disable any account in the event of a lost device "was the overriding reason to use it".

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