As we move into a global world, we need to simplify the ways people work together. Collaboration technology should help people to work together more efficiently and lead to increased employee and team productivity.
How can collaboration really play a role in your global productivity?
1. Collaboration boosts your business productivity?
Increasing the productivity of your business means that less input is required to produce the same output, or conversely, the same input will produce more output.
Either way, your business will benefit.
It could mean that employees find it easier to meet their deadlines and are less stressed and happier or it could mean company profits are up or it could mean both.
Collaboration is achieved through effective communication among an organization’s team members and colleagues, and between the organizations themselves.
Effective communication and collaboration are the sources of creativity, innovation and problem-solving that increase your productivity, staff satisfaction and profitability and may mean the difference between success and failure.
Today unified communications with its wealth of collaboration tools is a major driving force behind increased productivity.
There are three trends in collaboration today:
- Client-server platforms are replacing standalone applications
Standardization and interoperability are becoming more sought after commodities.
Products that offer a more seamless and integrated experience for the user and IT engineers alike.
With the many collaboration tools available today time and effort are being wasted monitoring and using different interfaces for the different types of communication we use. It makes sense to combine the functionality of tools like Google Drive, MS Outlook, Slack and WhatsApp on a single decentralized platform.
These integrated tools will simplify IT infrastructure, save time, save money on travel, hardware and office equipment and boost productivity in ways that were not previously possible.
- Artificial intelligence, virtual/augmented reality
Bots that can find candidates, schedule meetings or interviews, and sit in as expert recruiters are being incorporated into collaboration tools. They help us become more efficient and effective.
Using artificial intelligence bots and augmented and virtual reality apps provide data and visual collaboration combined in a single easy-to-use platform
- Workforce and management change
The workplace today is more global, using more remote workers and supports workers on the go. Collaboration plays a big part in this change.
Collaboration tools are also providing more in the way of predictive analytics giving people more information and allowing them to manage themselves more. This fits well with the current workforce and reduces management overhead.
2- Tools for collaboration and productivity
There is a multitude of products and applications today that enable individuals, teams, and businesses to collaborate online and improve their productivity.
They generally fall into categories that specialize in providing a specific subset of collaborative features such as communication, project and task management, file sharing and management or code sharing.
These categories are not hard and fast rules that the products adhere to but merely indicate the prime focus of the features they offer.
Communication is the basis of collaboration, and the focus of these tools is to provide multiple integrated channels of communication for individuals, teams, and businesses.
Core features generally include integrated and instant messaging, video and audio calling and conferencing and screen sharing.
Tools focussing on these features include products such as Teams, Skype for Business, Google Hangouts, HipChat, Flowdock, GoToMeeting, Slack, and WebEx.
- Project and task management
These tools aim at providing features like
- workflow automation
- brainstorming pinboards
- task lists
- calendar integration
- reminders and alerts
- various charts.
Asana, Dapulse, Proofhub, RedBooth, Trello, Jira and Wimi are some of the applications that do these things particularly well.
- File sharing and management
Products providing file sharing collaboration have file-security features, support for different file types, the ability to attach comments and notes to files, editing permissions and access control and shared folders.
They are good at dealing with files and folders in a shared environment and increase team and business productivity by automating these tasks and making them easy to use.
Some of the more popular names found in this arena are SharePoint Microsoft/Sharepo Google Drive, Dropbox, GlassCubes, MediaFire and Nomadesk.
- Code sharing and co-creating
This is an area of collaboration that has been neglected to some extent.
Code repositories like Git, SVN and Visual Studio Team Services have been around for some time and have limited code sharing abilities, but they do not provide true collaboration.
The code editor or IDE remains separate from the source code repository, and the developer needs to switch between the two to share the code. This detracts from productivity.
The ability to share code in real time from within the code editor or IDE is now being built into products like CodeAnywhere and Atom facilitating true co-coding or real-time simultaneous code editing.
Others like Coding team, Igloo and QuipDeveloper are following suit and enhancing productivity.
For your productivity and bottom line, it’s important to choose collaboration tools that are easy to use and match the culture and goals of your business. The trend is towards cloud-based products that take security seriously and provide integration and compatibility among the various modes of collaboration.
It is important for the productivity of users and the bottom line of your business to choose collaboration tools that are easy to use and match the culture and goals of your business.
The trend is towards cloud-based products that take security seriously and provide integration and compatibility between the various modes of collaboration.
The challenge lies in the ability of the IT departments to provide this for the user and enterprise alike. Indeed, collaboration tools are based on heterogeneous technologies. And therefore, a single platform supporting all the technologies would actually bring the IT team a real time saving for more value-added actions.
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