Industry statistics (Info Trends/CAP Ventures) points to the fact that more than 50 percent of businesses using technology such as Microsoft Office utilize a collaborative approach as an important and integral part of daily business processes. Effective collaboration software is necessary for providing a productive electronic working environment.
Technology Improvements Speed Collaborative Needs
The need for effective electronic collaboration in the modern day workplace will only continue to grow on the near future. This comes as no surprise to most businesses, since technological advances are easily embraced, having now proved for more than a quarter-century that change does equal profits. But, despite the advances in both hardware and software technologies, two very “human” conditions remain as obstacles in the overall challenge to collaboration software implementation. The first challenge is convincing people that using collaboration tools will increase their productivity and the second challenge is having users continually contributing information to the implemented system.
Email Needs to be Collaboratively Integrated
In today’s work environment, more than two-thirds of all businesses use email (the majority use Outlook). Therefore, one of the important tenets of any collaboration solution is the ability to integrate with Outlook for truly centralized document management.
Collaboration Software Has to be User-Friendly
The challenges toward “convincing” and “encouraging” are common when introducing any new technology. Change, especially new technology, can be frightening to many. Businesses seeking to introduce new collaboration software need to choose a solution that is extremely user-friendly. A good path would be to examine ones that require no information technology structured support. This means your new collaboration software package does not need any more new technology added to your present computer network, and doesn’t require you to hire any additional IT staff members to operate. Look for ones that offer a free demo you can download and try before buying.
Collaboration Platforms should be Feature-Rich
When choosing a solution, look for a platform that offers a comprehensive suite of features, including task management, document management, project management and team communication tools. One of the biggest problems for any software user is dealing with a hodge podge of online tools, and having to juggle passwords, login pages and switch back and forth between applications. Good collaboration solutions consolidate most of the features necessary for business collaboration into a single, easy to use platform.