Slack, Cisco Spark, Salesforce Chatter, Huddle, Box - the list of enterprise tools for improving team collaboration goes on. These tools empower employees across various departments with capabilities such as file sharing, cloud storage, calendaring, discussion boards, reporting, third-party system integration and more.
Research makes it clear that companies should be focusing on improving collaboration if they wish to streamline internal processes and more competitively position themselves in their respective markets. Just consider that aggregated research from Clinked shows that 96 percent of executives attribute workplace failures to a lack of collaboration. Meanwhile, collaboration tools enable organizations to outperform their competition by increasing work agility, improving decision making and lowering costs associated with travel and desk space.
Furthermore, Clinked found that firms that use collaboration tools observed productivity levels increase by almost 13 percent. Meanwhile, 97 percent of these businesses believe they are able to more efficiently serve their clients as a result of using collaboration tools.
Clearly, there is a measurable return on employee productivity and, thus, profitability when using collaboration tools within the enterprise. As such, 82 percent of businesses that currently use collaboration tools want to use more in the future. This is largely driving the enterprise collaboration market to be worth over $70 billion by 2019, compared to roughly $47 billion in 2014.
Our Senior Product Manager Bryan Dingwall agrees that now is a very exciting time to be in the enterprise collaboration space. We recently sat down with him to pick his brain on why these types of collaboration tools are proliferating the enterprise landscape today, and what this means for the future of team engagement.
According to Dingwall, collaboration tools are proliferating the enterprise because they enable organizations to truly transform team engagement. But how? He sums this up in two words: eliminate silos.
“A common problem that enterprises encounter today involves having to deal with multiple silos where collaboration at work exists,” he said. For example, for many employees email is a go-to method of communication; in fact, today over 200 billion emails are sent per day, compared to just 12 billion in 2000. At the same time, however, employees may be using a separate document management system, like Google Docs, to collaborate on long-term projects; a separate chat or IM platform for real-time interaction with colleagues; or a separate document management system, like Dropbox, to store files.
While each of these separate tools are useful in their own right, especially in terms of team-based projects and discussions, a better solution exists for streamlining teams engage with one another. According to Dingwall, organizations should work to aggregate these separate and siloed tools into one centralized space to ensure a more streamlined and less disruptive user experience.
That’s where advanced collaboration tools come into play for bolstering the enterprise workspace. “These kinds of tools are very purpose-focused and seamlessly tie in important workplace flows that exist today, from project management to document management to content creation and sharing,” he explained. “They also support common workflows, like managing tasks and staying on track with due dates, which is advantageous for any deadline-driven organization.”
Ultimately, Dingwall’s hope is that more businesses will work towards fully adopting advanced collaboration tools in order to embrace this next generation of team engagement, which is surely making headway.
“It’s exciting to be in this time where the definition of collaboration and communication is being challenged,” he said. “It helps encourage adoption in the industry, and it challenges collaboration solution providers to not rest on their laurels but rather innovate in order to continually improve the user experience and encourage a next generation of team engagement.”