If you ever find yourself asking why other companies use online collaborative productivity software, it’s probably for one of several reasons: firstly; you’re unsure exactly what it means.
Secondly, your business lacks modern productivity tools for employees.
Or thirdly, you’re skeptical of the benefits of implementing new collaboration tech in terms of whether it’s going to move the needle in a noticeable way.
If you find yourself pondering any of these, then you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’re going to be taking a look at the basics of online collaborative productivity software—why your competitors use them and if you really need to invest in one.
What Is Online Collaborative Productivity Software?
One of the reasons digital transformation can be frustrating to business leaders, decision makers, and stakeholders is a lack of understanding regarding exactly what their needs are and which tech solutions should be implemented to address them.
With regards to productivity software, these concerns are neutered significantly by the fact that practically any business with multiple employees—and particularly those with multiple offices—could use a productivity suite for their operations.
“Collaborative productivity software” is better known to most people as a suite of apps like Microsoft 365 or Slack. Simply put, they’re cloud services that allow instant messaging, file-sharing, and collaboration across integrated apps from Word to GitHub.
What You Need to Know About Cloud Productivity Suites
Now let’s answer the question of why businesses benefit from using collaboration suites.
The need for cloud platforms to facilitate a more productive workforce in terms of data-sharing and collaboration has been increasing in recent years.
This has largely been driven by the benefits realized by companies implementing these solutions, even well before the COVID pandemic forced the hand of many to seek them out.
The Importance of Data
The phrase “big data” is thrown around a lot when it comes to digital transformation, but what does it mean and how is it pertinent to SMBs and collaboration software?
Even the smallest businesses house enormous data sets, partly because software has become far more adept at quantifying information than in previous years.
Of course, what organizations typically want to make use of the most will be software that analyzes information and provides actionable data, as is common with marketing and sales platforms.
But they still need a means to access and share that data as quickly as possible, while also avoiding any potential emergence of data silos that can inhibit productivity—and that’s where collaboration software comes in.
Think of it as a connective tissue that allows employees to instantly exchange data, whether they’re in the office or working remotely.
Why Does Data Sharing Matter?
Aside from ridding a business of data silos, the need for online collaborative productivity software to more effectively handle information within an organization plays a large role in ensuring they are data-driven.
In 2021, the ability for businesses to seamlessly aggregate and share their data is a necessity and one of the primary reasons they are investing more heavily in tech that allows this.
In fact, Salesforce found that 86% of SMBs blame lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.
This need for an environment in which information can be shared easily through the cloud has led to a surge in uptake, with teamwork apps the most sought-after solutions, and the most desired tools being collaborative document editing, collaboration apps, and online video conferencing.
Data-driven organizations are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, 6 times as likely to retain customers, and 19 times as likely to be profitable as a result
When it comes to investment in technology, decision makers want to be able to see a tangible return on that investment.
It’s not uncommon for digital transformation projects to run into trouble when stakeholders are struggling to see what benefit their new solutions are giving them.
With collaborative productivity platforms, the benefits gained as regards employee and operational productivity are easier to gauge, and one of the reasons there has been such enthusiastic uptake in these systems.
Participants in a Stanford research project who were primed to act collaboratively stuck at their task 64% longer than their solitary peers, whilst also reporting higher engagement levels, lower fatigue levels and a higher success rate.
It won’t come as any surprise to business leaders that teams who work collaboratively are more innovative, more productive, and more efficient than solo workers.
This is one of the reasons we’re seeing so much investment in tech that allows more collaboration in businesses—after flexibility, productivity is the second-biggest driver of investment in UCaaS platforms for SMBs.
Changing Needs of the Workforce
The reality of the modern workplace is being more frequently shaped by flexibility and changing attitudes every year.
While the question as to why do companies use online collaborative productivity software can be answered from a business perspective in terms of increased operational output; there’s also the other side of the coin—namely offering employees the tools they need to be satisfied in the workplace.
Just as uptake of these solutions was on the rise prior to the pandemic in any case, so too were changing attitudes regarding remote work and modern communication tech—the events of 2020 turbo-charged an existing trend.
A 176% increase in collaboration apps installation on enterprise devices was found after the COVID-19 crisis just in May 2020.
With regard to changing attitudes, younger generations like Millennials, which now make up the majority of the US workforce, are more demanding when it comes to tech adoption. For example, three-quarters of Millennials believe that a work-from-anywhere setup or remote work is an important company policy.
In other words, it’s in a business’ best self-interest to implement technology that allows them to offer flexibility to their workplaces in order to attract new candidates entering the national workforce.
If you’re wondering why exactly it’s so important for an SMB in today’s business environment to implement collaborative productivity software, then the three drivers we’ve looked at today are excellent starter points.
A better means of sharing, handling, and exchanging data; productivity gains for your teams and employees; and the establishment of a working environment in which current and prospective employees will want to be a part of—all of these factors are key in taking a business forward.
Almost all businesses could use collaboration suites, even small SMBs with few staff members. For these businesses, free versions of Microsoft Teams, for example, have been made available—providers are recognizing that companies of any size want these tools and are making an effort to accommodate them.
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