New Research Ties Realtime Collaboration Tools to Bottomline Benefits

The way we work together in teams is changing. Collaboration has always been a part of work, but today it’s both harder and more important than ever. More and more teams today include workers who are geographically dispersed or work remotely, and more and more projects involve freelancers or contract workers who set their own schedules and rarely come into the office. In a modern office, getting everyone into the same room for a brainstorming session, or getting everyone on the same page about next steps for a project is a project just in itself.

 As the projects we tackle get more and more complicated and as the pace of technological change increases, companies in all industries desperately need the big ideas and creative solutions that collaborative work makes possible. But effective collaboration isn’t easy. New research from the Aberdeen Group makes this clear—some of the top challenges getting in the way of working together, according the survey, include the inability to get key stakeholders together at the same time, misunderstandings due to a lack of face-to-face communication, and time wasted on recapping previous conversations.

 Sound familiar?

 It’s hard to get your dispersed team into a room together. When you don’t, you struggle to get on the same page–people misjudge the tone of emails or miss them altogether. And when you do, you’re spending half your time just catching everyone up. In order to combat these kinds of problems, almost every organization uses some kind of collaboration tool, from the very simplest, like email, to more advanced tools like shared documents that can be edited online.

 The Aberdeen Group research found that best-in-class organizations today do more than just allow colleagues to distribute shared documents around. According to Aberdeen, the best collaboration tools on the market today allow for interactivity in realtime. They create one centralized location for all communication, and they eliminate problems with version control.

 These best-in-class collaboration tools neatly solve the key problems modern organizations face when trying to get teams to work together. They create a virtual space where distant stakeholders can get together at the same time, eliminating the need for tough-to-schedule physical meetings. Keeping all communication in one central space reduces miscommunication and helps everyone stay on the same page. And creating one, ongoing ‘documentation’ of a project that’s constantly updated in realtime means less valuable time wasted on catching people up to what happened while they were out of the office or working on something else.

 And these new collaboration tools make a real difference to the bottomline. The Aberdeen Group found that organizations using these best-in-class collaboration tools reaped real benefits. They saw 25% greater improvement in the time it took to make decisions, compared to organizations using older tools. And the benefits flowed through to the bottomline: organizations using best-in-class tools saw 33% greater improvements in project profitability, 150% greater improvements in productivity, and 33% greater improvements in revenue.

 This research brings to light what the most successful organizations have already realized: collaboration is more crucial than ever. Tools that make effective collaboration possible for far-flung teams are not nice-to-have’s–they’re mission critical. In today’s competitive marketplace, effective collaboration tools that reflect the way modern teams and organizations work directly impact business outcomes and success. It’s not a trend, it’s a transformation created out of necessity that’s well underway.


About the Author

Nick Brown is vice president of product and marketing, Bluescape. With 25 years of experience with previous positions at SAP and Oracle, Brown now drives Bluescape’s product vision, roadmap, and oversees all aspects of marketing.