Why Collaboration Tools are Ripe for Disruption
Whether we’re talking Google Docs, Dropbox or Trello, you’ve probably had many run-ins with collaboration apps. The reason why shouldn’t be surprising. That’s why we believe disruption is next for collaboration tools.
In today’s work world, teams are more than just the people in the office next door to you. They’re colleagues across the country, on the other side of the world, and those constantly on-the-go. This, in large part, has created the need for collaboration tools that can transcend location and that include all valuable stakeholders.
Not only has this made it so that workers in different locations need a means to share, document and communicate better, it’s also paved the way for the collaboration space to evolve and grow faster than ever before.
When it comes down to it, collaboration tools have made their advent but, with time, have become ready for a major disruption. I’d argue that this is true for multiple reasons:
- Corporate leaders have created a mess for workers in productivity.
With a lack of adequate leadership, the workforce has gone out and discovered a number of tools for themselves. However, with various tools, the processes that go along with them, and the unavoidable widespread data across these various tools, the problem becomes a huge time and productivity suck: nothing ends up talking to each other.
- Training for collaboration tools has gone by the wayside.
Even if corporate leaders are involved in obtaining collaboration tools, there’s often a major lack of thought into how to train people to use them. No matter what collaboration tool (or tools) we’ve opted for, we’ve often neglected to train people on the proper use of these tools (beyond videos or quick facts). For optimal success, training should occur and be aligned with the processes of the company. At the end of the day, not only do team members need to go through this training, they also need to know how to implement their learnings according to their own specific challenges.
- Optimizing teams is becoming a priority.
It’s a subject that is discussed all the time in business among leaders— how to get increased velocity, productivity and more, how to make teams work better together. The colossal flaw in these discussions is that we often forget that teams are internal and external. Our teams include vendors, suppliers, boards of directors, consultants and more. With this dynamic, we need to be able to connect everyone together for optimal results and optimized teams.
- Mobile is standard.
As a whole, any collaboration tool or collaboration solution needs to support an experience that provides for mobility. In an increasingly mobile world, where there are over 100M remote workers in America alone, this standard becomes progressively important. Collaboration tools used for a mobile workforce should mean access and documentation across devices, from mobile to tablet to desktop, in a seamless experience.
For those of us leading teams that are in various locations and work a range of schedules, these reasons make the impending disruption of the collaboration space extremely important for reaching our goals. But more than anything, recognizing that our teams include key external stakeholders that are extensions of our internal groups has meant a whole new way of looking at collaboration— one that could, potentially, change the game forever.