For all of the excitement generated by the wide range of Web-based business collaboration tools out there, you'd think most companies would be touting the revolutionary effects that these products have had.
Instead, most companies are seeing very few, if any, benefits from online collaboration software, at least according to a new report by Forrester. Of the survey's respondents, 64% said they saw anywhere from zero to four benefits after implementing collaboration software.
Those benefits do appear to increase, however, as companies invest in more such tools. In other words, deploying a robust suite of collaboration tools leads to greater efficiency and faster time-to-market for product launches. It also helps to integrate them directly into existing product development processes and the workflows people are already using.
The biggest advantage such software does offer is in reducing travel costs, which 62% of businesses reported as a payoff. Improved communication and project management were also cited.
As the workforce becomes increasingly decentralized, it's clear that remote collaboration tools are rather useful. The report notes that 42% of all workers do at least part of their job outside the office in a typical month. For this ever-growing number, Web-based productivity tools are increasingly indespensable.
What Collaboration Tools Are Companies Investing In?
Of all the money businesses are investing in collaboration, most of it is going toward team workspaces, social tools and real-time communication software.
At the bottom of the list of things companies are planning on investing more in is hosted email. As much buzz surrounds cloud-based email services, companies seem to be sticking with their existing on-premises email solutions for now.