Although large organisations have led the way in the adoption of collaboration tools, small-to-medium size business can benefit enormously in today’s economic environment. SMEs need to be more flexible, and to achieve more with fewer resources. Trends such as teleworking and hot-desking, as well as the need to use outsourced expertise and freelance workers, are all part of the drive towards collaboration. Among the benefits are:
- Lower costs for office space, travel and teleconferencing;
- Savings in staff time by eliminating the need to travel;
- Improved communications inside and outside of the organisation;
- Better project management and faster decision-making;
- Reduced IT costs;
- Improved employee satisfaction;
- Better customer experience and partner relationships.
In a new survey by Forrester Research of US and European companies who have implemented collaboration software, between 20 and 60 per cent said they had realised one or more of the above benefits, while a smaller number also reported improved innovation and lower time-to-market. Just 3 per cent said they had seen no benefit.
The challenge for SMEs looking to improve collaboration in their office software suites is in choosing the right solution from this rapidly-expanding menu.
Read more about collaboration.