3 Benefits of Collaboration Software
Carol Mentis, July 31, 2017
You’ve probably heard of collaboration software, but might be unsure what the software is or how it could work for you and your business. Collaboration software is the process of sharing, processing, and managing files between several users and systems. The software gives remote users the ability to work simultaneously on a task or project once logged into the system.
Why use collaboration software?
The main reason businesses use collaboration software is to improve the productivity amongst a group of individuals who don’t necessarily work in the same office space, at times even working across global offices. It allows organisations to streamline work flows, and manage tasks through cloud-based schedules, wherever their employees are. For employees, it also means a greater deal of flexibility which can be highly appealing when applicants are looking at businesses to apply for work.
How does it work?
Collaboration software allows each user to create an online workspace that they can add data and documents to. This workspace is visible by everyone who has a login to the intranet software, regardless of where they are in the world, and the time zone they’re logging in. Changes, amendments and updates to documents within the software are synchronized across the digital workplace, meaning that everyone who has access is always working off the most up to date version of the work.
Tasks can be assigned and scheduled to different individuals throughout the software, so that everyone logged into the system can see the workflow of their colleagues. Instant messaging can be set up, which helps to save time placing calls or waiting on email replies, so queries can be answered more effectively.
What are the benefits of using collaborative software?
1. Increased speed and efficiency
Aside from the benefits mentioned above, there are several ways in which collaborative software can be used to help increase the speed of project completion, and the coordination of cross-continent teams. Collaborative software increases the efficiency of your team, as they can directly contact one another through instant messaging, built into the system. Errors are reduced as documents are automatically saved into the online system, meaning work isn’t repeated by separate users – instead they can all work on the latest information on the system. Deadlines can be tracked more easily across all people working on the project, and reminders can be set up to ensure everyone remains on track.
2. Moving with the times
Using collaborative, cloud-based software means you are removing the need for outdated, paper-based systems. Paper records of documents and information can easily be lost, so working purely from an online system is a far more effective way of recording and managing data. If your project team is working across international borders, it would be highly inefficient to work off a system that is a detriment to the speed the team are working. As you reduce the amount of paper you use, you’re also creating a greener office environment, encouraging your team to utilise the online system in favour of an office full of wasted paper.
3. Improved client-customer relationships
Collaborative software can also help you to improve your relationships with your clients and customers. If you are the Account Manager working with a client, but the work is being managed by a team of people, you can easily log into the software to see where everyone working on the project is up to. This means you can adapt to your client’s requests for contact instantly, rather than panicking and trying to coordinate updates from your team, which is especially difficult if the team is split across several offices or countries.
Collaborative software can also be set up to give your clients regular updates, so they don’t feel as though they have to chase you for updates or information. You will also be able to see the planned schedule for future work, so if your client is looking for an update on future deadlines, you’ll be able to give them a realistic steer on when to expect work to land.
Overall, collaborative software will help you to improve the workflow efficiencies amongst your team, streamline and improve communication as people work from a shared system, and positively impact your external relationships as all of the information you need is recorded and edited in a central system.