What to consider when looking at collaboration tools for your business.

If you’ve ever had a project in which you’ve had to work with multiple people, then you probably have a sense of how collaboration within a team and arming the team with the right tools is imperative to the success of your project. Collaboration is the art of working with another individual or group to achieve the same goal. A collaboration tool is a technology that we use to make the process of working together and achieving the same target much more streamlined. While we all have worked together collaboratively for years, the use of online tools has made our lives easier in many ways, and that has never been truer with recent world events. So as you move to do things in your business and personal lives online and into the cloud, I would like to share with you a few thoughts and tips on what products are out there and which one do you choose when working in this ever-changing landscape and medium. 

In the world of an IT solutions provider, online collaboration is something that has been second nature for the past 20 years. During this crisis, the world has moved to online meetings at an astronomical pace. We know that the learning curve has been steep; however, necessity is the mother of invention, so we need to adapt and embrace that change for business and society.

When picking collaboration tools for your business, let’s look and review the categories you may consider. 

  • Calendar sharing tools
  • File sharing tools
  • Instant messaging
  • Document synchronization
  • Cloud storage
  • Videoconferencing
  • Whiteboards

With the list above in mind, there are numerous tools you can use and are likely already using for collaboration today. Here is a list of things to consider when choosing a collaboration platform for your business.

• Focus on the problem, not the technology. 

Often, we see the latest ‘buzzy’ tool jumped on quickly because it’s new and shiny. Make sure the solution you put in place helps solve a problem you already have, not one that creates more complexity with features that don’t achieve your end goal. 

• Go with tools your team loves.

I would suggest putting a team together to pick the tools you need and get buy-in early for all stakeholders. I have seen implementations fail more than they succeed due to lack of planning when choosing tools for the whole team. 

Investigate the security features

In today’s ever-changing online landscape, the threats out there are numerous. You can’t mitigate all the risks, but there are things to consider.

Ensure interoperability and compatibility with your current systems. 

 Whatever tools you pick for collaboration, the end goal is to make cooperation and processes more streamlined. You don’t want to silo your information any more than it already is.  

One more thing to watch out for are tools that are operating outside the corporate structure. Over the years, I’ve found that products and software have a way of being used without an organization’s knowledge. Keep an eye out for these rogue systems; they can put your business at risk if not managed and checked.  

These are but a few thoughts to consider when looking at collaboration and tools for your business. If you need help making the right choice, we would be happy to help! Contact us.