6 Steps to the Right Collaboration Technology

How to choose the right collaboration technology? For any ambitious entrepreneur, this is, in many ways, the most important question.

In general, the right collaboration technology is the one that fits into your company’s organization, processes, strategy and culture and provides lucrative and powerful tools and social networking features.

Considering that many collaboration platforms could fit into this description, this explanation doesn’t provide enough guidelines. Before one starts thinking about tools and features a software provides, entrepreneurs should visualize and analyse how their businesses operate.

This is what you should know:

 

  • Collaboration technology is in many ways essential for work management and crucial in certain stages of the business, however, deploying a collaborative technology isn’t going to be lucrative and efficient if one’s corporate culture is weak and lacks strategy. One needs to have a clear idea on company’s collaboration needs; only then collaborative technology is an advantage.

 

  • Collaboration technology won’t bring more organization and structure into one’s work if the business doesn’t identify the key imperatives and challenges the technology should address. When one puts a focus on the things that needs to be done, only then the strengths and benefits of technology could be evaluated.  For example, e-commerce businesses would want to focus on tools that improve customer service.

 

Once the company has analysed needs and imperatives, it can proceed to evaluating the collaboration technology.   

How?

By answering the following questions.

 

1. What features are necessary for work management or office collaboration in my company?

This is one of the key points to assess the collaborative technology. But the answer is simple: if your business consists entirely, or in a larger part, of virtual teams, a platform that offers efficient video conferencing features is the one that will fit best.

Certainly this isn’t the only tool necessary for virtual collaboration, however, analysing what virtual teams need will lead to choosing the right collaborative technology.

 

2. Is the platform easy to operate in and user-friendly?

This is the question that address the needs of your employees. Platforms that are easily customizable, simple and user-friendly will improve time and work management and support your brand, product or service and culture.  The less time a team needs to adapt to new collaborative technologies, the better are the results.

 

3. What kind of hosting solutions does the platform have?

Collaboration technology can be hosted on-cloud, on premise and in a hybrid model, and one should know which model has the greatest advantage for their work organization. Although most of collaboration technology offers any of the above, small and midsize businesses have a trend of choosing hybrid solutions for the best results, for instance.  

 

4. Can I integrate the platform with my existing technology and can this technology support mobile platforms?

Many of the businesses already have some sort of collaborative solution, thus the platform needs to be able to integrate into company’s existing technology levels. Moreover, to improve seamless flow of information, collaborative technology needs to support many different mobile platforms.

 

5. Is the platform secure?

Encryption mechanisms, authentication and authorizations, security monitoring tools and other security measures are crucial for any collaborative technology.

 

6. Does the platform have developers support?

When choosing collaboration platform it’s important to assess the features of vendor’s support (cost, coverage, updates).

For some businesses that deal with customer service and forums it might be a good option to opt for the collaborative technology that provides 24/7 support, for instance.

The right collaboration technology can provide good tools to give a business significant competitiveness, however, if one opts for the wrong solution, the business can suffer. First, set your goals and analyse your business’s imperatives, then answer these questions to arm yourself in finding the right collaboration technology that meet your requirements.

 

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