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Nemertes Research Supports the Need for a Rationalized Collaboration Toolset

At Enterprise Connect 2020, Irwin Lazar (Vice President and Service Director, Nemertes Research) outlined Nemertes’ latest study on the impact of team collaboration software on the enterprise. A big takeaway is that there is a definite need for enterprises to rationalize their collaboration toolset to optimize their employees’ workflows.

First, despite the problems highlighted below, collaboration tools are here to stay. Nemertes found that these tools are improving productivity by 24%, increasing annual revenue by an average of US$368K, and reducing email by 21%. The top five key capabilities sought after by organizations for their collaboration tools included:

  • End-to-end encryption (41.1%).
  • Video and audio conferencing (40.4%).
  • Low cost (36.3%).
  • On-premises option (32.6%).
  • Message export (24.4%).

However, given the many different tools available, it’s no surprise that Nemertes found that 42% of employees have more than one collaboration tool. Interestingly, this figure is largely caused by organizations not specifying a primary collaboration tool of use: 40% of organizations cited “no primary app” as the biggest reason for having multiple apps. For those organizations that did have a primary tool, Microsoft Teams appeared in first place, with 40% of employees citing it as their primary tool. Webex Teams came second, with 27% of organizations citing it as their primary tool.

Source: SoftwareReviews Cisco Webex Teams Scorecard. Accessed September 11, 2020.

Key challenges raised by organizations with multiple collaboration tools include:

  • Difficulty with tracking conversations across multiple apps.
  • Notification overload.
  • Integration frictions.
  • Issues with permissions for external users.
  • Regulatory requirements for data management.
  • Minimizing the threat of data loss.
  • Encryption and key management.
  • Identity and access control.

Rationalizing your collaboration toolset will help reduce the friction of these challenges.

For further information, watch the session Survival Guide: Working with Multiple Team Collaboration Apps (available online through to December 31, 2020, at Enterprise Connect 2020).

Our Take

An immediate takeaway from Nemertes’ research is that Microsoft Teams has surely won out against Slack to be enterprises’ primary collaboration tool. Indeed, that Slack does not even come second indicates how rapidly the collaboration marketspace is shifting and evolving. Given that Microsoft Teams and Webex Teams both offer capabilities that go far beyond team messaging, it’s difficult to see how Slack will keep up with these collaboration giants.

A high-level takeaway from Nemertes’ research is that Info-Tech’s Rationalize Your Collaboration Tools can help organizations overcome these frustrations by offering a series of methods to build a collaboration strategy. This research begins by taking a use case-driven approach to identify what capabilities your employees need for their workflows. Doing so creates a high-level overview for identifying not only which in-house tools best map onto these required capabilities, but also where tools have overlapping capabilities (perhaps indicating redundant tools) and where gaps in your collaboration toolset exist. The result is a collaboration strategy that meets end-user requirements with as rationalized a toolset as possible.


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