The coronavirus has forever changed how companies operate.
While many had already embraced remote collaboration tools to an extent, the need to quickly transition to a completely remote environment has been a challenge that’s caused plenty of disruptions across most industries.
However, while the global pandemic has had a huge impact on businesses worldwide, it has also accelerated the adoption of modern collaboration solutions, which can actually have a positive effect on the way companies operate in the future.
In fact, the collaboration software market is poised to reach a staggering $16.60 billion by 2025, which will make it one of the biggest tech industries in the world.
But what are some of the most promising collaboration software advances today? And how will they continue to evolve going into the future?
Let’s dig deeper into the subject and explore these questions below.
Why Does Collaboration Software Matter in 2020?
Before we can look into the specific trends that are emerging in the collaboration software field, we must take the time to understand why it is important in the first place.
And the short answer to the question is pretty straightforward – any edge your company can gain over the competition can be the difference between rapid growth and stagnation.
With most industries becoming more competitive each year, “friction” is becoming a key buzzword that many decision-makers are focusing on.
Companies are striving to create a productive environment for their employees, and that usually comes back to the type of tools that they can work with.
In other words, the less time your employees spend doing repetitive tasks or sharing information with colleagues, the more time they can spend working on their primary objectives.
That’s where collaboration software can be so helpful.
Whether it’s sharing information, collaborating on projects, or assigning tasks, collaboration software can make all of these processes much easier and help create a streamlined environment that employees feel comfortable with.
And the best part is, the technology is only getting better. The tools that are currently in place will be improved upon or completely replaced, and outdated methods will become even harder to sustain.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the ways how cloud-based collaboration software will change in the near future.
One of the biggest obstacles faced by companies today is bridging the gap between different collaboration tools that they are using. In some cases, a choice of software can mean that other options become inconvenient, and therefore, it’s crucial to consider how the entire architecture can be mapped out so that your team has all the functionality that they need.
However, while many legacy systems weren’t flexible in terms of integration possibilities, the next decade promises to change that for the better.
Even today, there are numerous collaboration tools that offer seamless integration, combining their features, and enhancing the user experience.
Whether it’s sharing files, integrating project management software with real-time communication solutions, or even the Gmail Microsoft Teams integration that’s bridging the gap for teams all around the world.
The point is, having a way to connect some of the most popular platforms such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, Asana, Dropbox, and Google Drive will ensure that even when employees from different companies are working together, they won’t have any issues sharing information quickly.
And the best part is, this type of integration is not a distant future prediction but something that’s already happening on a large scale.
Enhancing Remote Work
2020 was the year that saw a shift in remote work like never before. And while the tools that are available today have been incredibly helpful in making that happen, the insights gained by the global pandemic are sure to inspire even better solutions that will help employees stay on top of their projects from anywhere in the world.
Video conferencing is likely to become even more integrated with workflows, allowing you to go through visual elements that enhance the meetings and boost productivity.
In many ways, employees can work just as productively as they would in the office. However, there’s definitely still room to improve, especially when it comes to brainstorming ideas and collaborating on projects.
For instance, some solutions are already integrating Virtual Reality tools that provide a more immersive meeting experience. This can help remove many of the barriers associated with remote meetings and help people experience a more cohesive and vibrant creative environment.
Other solutions offer the possibility to use the backgrounds of virtual meetings as presentation boards, using data and visual elements to emphasize points and to help get the main points across in the best way possible.
Utilization of Chatbots
While chatbots are more commonly associated with consumer communication and support, they can be instrumental in a workplace environment as well.
But how exactly could a business use chatbots to enhance their employee collaboration?
Well, one simple way to adopt the technology is to have the chatbots serve as a knowledge base that the employees can fall back on. Combined with artificial intelligence advancements, chatbots could be used as real-time assistants, helping compile data, retrieve documents, or perform research on various subjects.
Instead of an employee having to manually sort through documents, they could give specific commands to the chatbot and have them provide the results in a matter of seconds, even if the request has multiple parameters.
Another way to use chatbots is to have them take on the role of an assistant. They could help with scheduling meetings, sending reminders, and even taking notes that can be distributed to everyone working on the project.
Because of the intuitive and user-friendly way that chatbots operate, they could serve as an on-the-go option for staying on top of various tasks, ensuring that team members always have the necessary information and don’t have to waste time on less-productive activities.
Cloud-based collaboration software is changing rapidly every year. And with the shift to remote work that happened because of the coronavirus, the innovation in the industry is sure to become even faster in the near future.
Seamless integration, remote work improvements, and even chatbots as virtual assistants are just some of the things that companies worldwide can look forward to as the technology becomes even more convenient than it is today.