Driving collaboration and instant communication through tools and technology seems unnatural and counter-intuitive. However, the onset of COVID-19 has brought previously unimaginable work scenarios to life -
Enterprises with a technology-averse mindset were forced to learn and adapt to collaboration tools overnight.
Work-From-Home (WFH), a once dreaded concept, became the savior for multiple businesses - big and small.
Companies with a decent online infrastructure could better navigate through choppy waters when the global lockdown just started.
In short, with businesses going virtual, the online collaboration market is exploding, and the industry is predicted to reach $59.86 billion by 2023. Plus, its wide-spread adoption is an undeniable fact. Research by the Harvard Business Review states that "95% of employees in large enterprises are already using enterprise collaboration software."
Workplace by Facebook. Slack. Microsoft Teams.
These are all examples of collaboration tools that enterprises are using day-in-day-out, especially today when businesses are right in the thick of a global pandemic. That said, innovative collaboration platforms offer a suite of social tools such as instant messaging, blogs, profiles, shared workspaces, among others, to drive productivity and work relationships.
That said, it is important to remember that each collaboration tool appeals to different organizations based on what their primary goals and needs look like. Consider the following examples:
"Slack is neater, more useful, and more practical for people working within the organization. People can simply be divided by the projects, teams, and still, be in the same chat as everyone in the organization."
All things considered, it needs to be mentioned that regardless of the tool you choose, prioritizing data privacy and security, without compromising on the user experience or productivity levels is paramount and is the key differentiator between good and great collaboration software solutions.
"Companies should position enterprise collaboration platforms as the hub that connects IT systems, business applications, collaborative tools, and digital platforms.” - MIT Sloan Management Review
Typically, people think of enterprise social networking platforms with being limited to instant-messaging tools. However, these tools come padded with other useful features such as:
" The global video conferring market will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 9.2% until 2025, growing that market to a value of $6.7 billion." - Bloomberg
Video chat platforms (think: Skype, Google Hangouts, and Zoom) allow team members to drive video conferences, which are instant, easy-to-implement, and effective.
All these value-added features enhance the overall user experience while allowing them to connect with each other on a personalized level and at their own convenience.
"Because we have access to very good tools in our private lives, we expect the same level of functionality and performance in business.” - Jeffrey Mann, Vice President of Research at Gartner
The paradox of online collaboration is this: Employees are working alone from home, but they are together, virtually.
The workforce of today has truly gone global in the literal and figurative senses of the term. Issues such as varying time zones, diverse geographical locations, multi-lingual workforce, etc. are no longer a hindrance to business continuity, owing to a wide plethora of online collaboration tools and flexible working practices at large. That is why more and more employers are opting for onboarding remote workers. And if you are thinking about it, Goco has a lot of useful tips for a successful Remote employee onboarding.
Here's a quick snapshot of the tangible and intangible benefits they pose:
Whether you call it enterprise social networks or enterprise collaboration platforms, these super-useful tools work across teams, business systems, information, and applications to power productivity and
A. Offer a 3.9X return on investment over three years.
B. Reduce the time it takes to update frontline workers by 34%;
C. Increase task efficiency by 20%;
D. Reduce cloud operating expenses for legacy tools by 80%;
E. Accelerate the decision-making process by 20%;
F. Increase product innovation by 32%;
G. Increase onboarding efficiency by 32%.
"The enterprise collaboration software market is currently worth $3.5 billion and will grow by 70%
in the next few years." - International Data Corporation (IDC)
Here's the long and short of it: Collaboration tools are helping transform companies into thriving online communities where:
With workplaces becoming more dynamic and flexible, enterprise collaboration is the future. And the future is here.