Could Your Business Benefit From Collaborative Software?

15 Jul Could Your Business Benefit From Collaborative Software?

If you could do everything yourself, you probably would, right? Of course, that’s impossible. That’s why you have employees. It would be impossible to run a business without them. At the same time, some of your employees might be wishing they could do everything all by themselves too! Sometimes this is possible, but in most industries, it’s a team game. Employees are going to have to work together to get things done; as a team.

Collaborative software can help your employees work better as a team, and it can also help your business in some unexpected ways too.

“97% of employees and executives surveyed believe that lack of alignment with a team directly impacts the outcome of a task or project.” – According to data compiled by Clear Company

What does this mean? It means a lack of communication often leads to mistakes, which leads to problems. The first step in stopping problems when it comes to teamwork is to get people communicating efficiently.

Communication Is Key

According to a survey by Software Advice, 77 percent of the people questioned use social collaboration software to communicate. This is more than the 71% that use email for collaboration. Email is still the old standby. It has its place, and will most likely continue to be used for a long time to come. However, the results of the survey show that the vast majority of companies are moving towards collaborative software for their employees.

Email just doesn’t make as much sense when it comes to working on projects. It isn’t fluid; in fact, it hardly promotes collaboration at all. With a custom solution, co-workers can work on the same project at the same exact time, rather than edit, send, wait, receive, edit, send, wait, receive – you know the cycle. The best part is, they can communicate the entire time.

If there are more than two people working on the same project, it can quickly become difficult for everyone to be involved in the same email thread. People can get confused, good ideas can get left out, and bad ones can get left in. Rather than constantly refreshing an email thread, social collaboration programs send out updates and notifications instantly. Threads can also be archived easily and found and referenced later with just as much ease.

“86% of employees and executives cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.“

It’s all about evolution, and judging by the survey, most companies realise that. It seems like a different world now, but people used to use fax machines to send each other documents instead of emails. That’s not to say that email is going away, but when it comes to collaboration, custom software is the new king.

Promote From Within

Depending on the size of your company, you might know everyone by name. You might not. In either case, it’s doubtful that you know the full spectrum of each and every one of your employees skills.

When it comes to assigning tasks, you are not going to pull up every single employee’s resume every time you need a specific skill set, right?

With collaborative software, you can find the best employee for the job in just a few moments. You can search by skills or accomplishments or department, or really any category, narrowing it down until you find the perfect individual for the job. Aside from making it easier to delegate the right job to the right person, you can also find the right people to promote.

Specifically, you can track employees’ progress on projects and how successful they are. It’s easier to find the people more deserving of praise, because you can find exactly what they have accomplished and how they have contributed to their company.

Plus, there is good reason to promote from the inside rather than hire someone new from outside the company. According to a university study, external hires get significantly lower performance evaluations for their first two years on the job when compared to those that were promoted from within. But it doesn’t stop there. These same externally-hired employees make 18%-20% more money than their counterparts, and to top it off, have higher exit rates.

It makes sense to reward someone who has been useful to your company, rather than potentially hiring someone that will do a worse job, get paid more, and end up leaving!

Less Is More

To put it simply, less programs to manage means more productivity, more use, and more savings. Custom software development allows your team the specific set of tools you need to get the job done, rather than piecing together different parts of programs to build a makeshift suite.

Fewer programs mean more compatibility. Instead of using different software for cloud storage, project and employee management, and communication, your company could have one software solution to handle it all.

That’s fewer instances of software to learn, and fewer applications to manage. Add to that the fact that in a custom option every different part of the software communicates effectively with every other part.

The net result? You achieve better organisation and less time wasted.

There’s a good chance that your company started with a bunch of different examples of free software. Maybe they got the job done, but as your company grew, your needs for software grew too. You could either add new software options one at a time, or go for a complete system overhaul.

Adding one at a time in an effort to save money might make sense at first, but in the long run, it will end up costing more money, as well as being less efficient.

The idea behind custom collaborative software is that you can pay one vendor for all of your needs. This means you avoid paying several different vendors, separate fees: licensing, support, and maintenance contracts, each with their own regulations individual to the specific vendor. According to ZDNet, these contracts can amount to 20% of the initial licensing fee, every year. If you opt for custom solutions, the software is yours to own. No yearly licensing fees.

Become Your Own Business Analyst

One of the more frequently overlooked aspects of collaborative software is the amount of useful information that it generates just by your employees using it.

According to Gartner, Inc.: “Seventy percent of high-performing companies will manage their business processes using real-time predictive analytics or extreme collaboration by 2016, according to Gartner, Inc.”

Collaborative software makes it easy to track how effective your employees are about almost every aspect of their business. How long it takes to work on certain projects, who is better at what. You can even compile trends automatically.

From this data it becomes easier to manage employees and to move your company in the right direction.

There isn’t really a limit to how your company could benefit from collaborative software ultimately, it’s up to you and your software development vendor to determine the features you need. With the right software solution, you’ll improve communication, time management, productivity, and as a result, profit.

From there, it’s about getting your employees on board.