Effective collaboration is important if you want your business to succeed. Collaboration must be seamless among people in your office, business partners, clients, and remote workers. So the business tools that you use to share documents, develop marketing plans, and communicate with colleagues and clients must work together across different platforms.
However, with so many options on the market, how do you choose technologies that are right for your business? Let’s take a look at some of the key features to consider when vetting collaboration tools:
If your employees have access to cloud-based collaboration software, they can stay productive whether they’re in the office, at home, or on the road. For instance, if your work management app is based on the cloud instead of being installed locally on computers, your workers don't have to use their laptops or desktop computers to do their tasks.
#2. Workflow automation
Workflow bottlenecks are a productivity killer. Your collaboration tools should eliminate them and ensure that information flows smoothly across different individuals and/or business units.
If you’re using Microsoft OneDrive to share and organize files while your business partners use other services such as Google Drive or Dropbox, you may encounter issues because of the different platforms used. With workflow automation, in which different platforms work harmoniously, you can avoid hassles. For example, if a client uploads a new file into their Google Drive account, automation can copy the file to OneDrive, so you don’t have to manually access Google Docs.
#3. Mobile-friendly interface
Accessing certain desktop-optimized programs on mobile devices may not display them correctly, making it harder for staff to do their tasks. Your collaboration platform should be optimized for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, so employees can work even if they are away from the office.
If employees try to access your desktop-optimized program on their phone, it might not display correctly, making it harder for them to accomplish their tasks.
#4. Real-time analytics
Your collaboration technology should be able to collate and analyze data from across your company and provide users with actionable insights that support data-driven decision-making. This ensures that all employees are accessing the same information to avoid gaps.
Searching files in a huge data system can be quite tedious. Your collaboration app should have a search feature, and allow employees to use keywords, tags, and search filters to quickly find files.
#6. Group calendars
Shared calendars should allow users to collaborate and set activities. That way, if a certain department schedules a meeting on a certain date and time, they can log it into the shared calendar for everyone to see, minimizing confusion and possible scheduling conflicts.
#7. Redundancy and backup
Downtime can be costly and negatively impact productivity. Your collaboration technology must have redundancy and a comprehensive backup and recovery system to ensure that even after a cyberattack, your data remains safe and retrievable anytime.
#8. Access control
Your collaboration technology should restrict employees’ access rights to the bare minimum needed for them to do their job. That way, they cannot access the data that they don’t need, which minimizes the risks of future data breaches.
For instance, someone in the finance department should not be able to view, edit, or share specific files or data from the human resources department. This ensures that only the rightful people can access certain files and not any data unrelated to their job.
Ultimately, you should pick collaboration technology that streamlines processes, securing sensitive data, eliminating bottlenecks, reducing errors, and minimizing delays. Your platform should encourage employees to collaborate better with others, no matter where they are.
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