Choosing the right collaboration software for your organisation

Choosing the right collaboration software for your organisation

Choosing the right collaboration software is a bit like a Premier League football manager trying to identify a replacement for a star striker. The market is full of them and they can cost a fortune. They are often over-hyped and come with reputations that guarantee you success. If you’re not careful you might think you are buying a Leo Messi but end up with a Fernando Torres. Sitting on the bench, costing the club money and not delivering much to the business. You then wheel him out every now and again hoping the form will turn around but, by then…the fans have turned against him and you know it’s all over for him.
It isn’t a great shock that collaboration software can have a success rate as low as 10% (Gartner). It can be such a difficult thing to choose the right tool for your organisation. We have come up with some tips for selecting the right software for you and your people.

Identifying your problems

It’s important you have a fundamental reason driving you to make a change. This doesn’t need to be an earth-shattering step change, it can be as small as trying to make employees lives easier in a specific area. But it’s important that there is a driver, a question to be answered or a problem to be solved.
A good way of understanding this is by asking your people. In a previous blog, we have talked about the benefits of the consultation effect can have on user adoption and productivity, but more than this, performing some good ol’ fashioned discovery and requirements gathering straight from the horse’s mouth goes a long way to helping select the correct tool.

Choose a multi-purpose tool

There are many tools available on the market but try to keep the amount you use to a minimum and keep it simple for the users. Most of the tools on the market offer a good selection of functionality around their main specialism. It’s important you identify the problems from your discovery phase and complete a Gap Analysis against the tools to make a decision. Broadly, there are some killer features you will want to make sure are included in any tool you go with;

  • Real time communication
    • Instant messaging, calling, video conferencing and screen sharing is a must in the modern workplace. Allowing people to quickly share ideas, clarify actions and work together on projects is helping people move fast in an already frantic workplace.
  • Document Management/File Sharing
    • Documents are the fabric of the work place; it is what you produce as your piece of work/output and often a large part of the input into much of what you do. It’s important you have a tool that has a good document storage facility that allows you to share, coupled with some organisation tools for categorisation, search and multi user input.
  • Task Management and Scheduling
    • All things have a timeline, an owner and a dreaded deadline. Whether it’s a large transformation project, a small work package with a team or just a way for employees to track and manage their own time, tools to help people track and manage are becoming essential – 77% of people report on working on 2-7 projects simultaneously (CMS Wire).
  • Mobility
    • 40% of the workforce work remotely, so having a mobile friendly tool is a must in the modern workforce (Clinked). Furthermore, the workforce are now admitting to completing personal tasks on work time (75%) and work tasks in personal time (77%) so providing mobile friendly tools will allow people to be more productive in line with flexible working being employed (Techradar).
  • Social
    • Spending on Enterprise Social Networks is expected to hit $4.5Billion in 2016 (TechTarget) so don’t get left behind. A social element to your solution should be a given and most tools offer them. Remember you need to focus on adoption planning to make the most of this.

Take the Free Trial

Almost all the tools on the market offer you a freebie to hook you in. When you think you have narrowed your search then set up a control group and test a few out. On paper it’s difficult to make a decision and the best people to help you decide are the communities who will be using the tools. This is a good way to feel out usability issues, compatibility to the culture of the workforce and how far the tool goes to meet the practical needs and issues you have identified for your organisation.

Like what you have read? Would like us to talk about something specific? Think Ntegra can help your organisation? Get in touch…

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