What to Look for in Collaborative Tools

 
 
By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 04-06-2017 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    What to Look for in Collaborative Tools
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    What to Look for in Collaborative Tools

    Collaborative solutions play an important role in meeting business goals by boosting efficiency and productivity, while enabling users to make better decisions.
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    Critical Element
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    Critical Element

    More than 80% of the professionals surveyed said collaborative solutions play either a very or extremely important role in meeting their organization's top business goals.
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    Benefits of Collaborative Tech
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    Benefits of Collaborative Tech

    Greater efficiency: 79%, Increased productivity: 76%, Better business decisions: 69%, Higher levels of innovation: 63%, Faster time to market: 58%
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    Pet Peeves, Part I
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    Pet Peeves, Part I

    46% of the respondents said they'd like collaborative tools to allow contractors, consultants and other non-employees to be included in the process, and 40% would prefer tools that were less complicated to set up.
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    Pet Peeves Part II
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    Pet Peeves Part II

    31% said they wish collaborative tools were less difficult to use, and 29% said these solutions often cost too much.
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    Rewards program
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    Rewards program

    At least 56% of the respondents said their organization is reducing travel expenses through collaborative tools.
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    Personnel Savings
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    Personnel Savings

    Nearly half said their organization has reduced staffing costs via collaborative solutions.
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    Top-Down Approach
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    Top-Down Approach

    66% of the respondents said C-level executives should lead their collaborative culture, but just 50% said this is actually happening.
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    Best Practices: Open Up
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    Best Practices: Open Up

    Remember that contractors, partners and other outside parties will need to collaborate with your teams, so look for tools that won't shut them out.
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    Best Practices: Keep Eyes on the Prize
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    Best Practices: Keep Eyes on the Prize

    Avoid collaborative products that don't deliver bottom-line value. Solutions should come with a proven track record of boosting revenue, profits, market share, operational efficiencies and cost savings.
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    Best Practices: Gain Executive Buy-In
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    Best Practices: Gain Executive Buy-In

    By demonstrating positive ROI, you'll more readily gain the C-suite's support, thus increasing the likelihood of increased investment into collaborative technology.
 

The majority of professionals feel that collaborative solutions play a key role in helping their organization achieve critical business goals, according to a recent survey conducted by the Harvard Business Review Analytics Services. The resulting report, sponsored by Insight, states that these tools often boost efficiency and productivity, while enabling users to make better business decisions. The products also expand the potential for innovation. Global sales of collaborative apps are projected to reach $20.1 billion in 2020, up from $13.3 billion in 2015, according to industry research. All is not perfect, however, as survey respondents said they'd like to have access to collaborative tools that include contractors, consultants and partners in the process. They'd also like less complexity when setting up these tools and greater ease of use. "Collaboration is not a new concept," writes Doug Fink, Insight's practice director for collaboration, in an introduction to the report. "But … we've evolved from smoke signals to wired phone calls and from sticky notes to videoconferencing with colleagues half a world away. Today's businesses are more efficient and productive than ever, in large part due to cloud-based collaboration tools." The report includes a number of recommendations, and we've adapted some of them here. The more than 420 professionals who took part in the research were readers of the Harvard Business Review.

 
 
 
 
 
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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