A recent market research study by AIIM highlights various problems in the uptake of collaboration tools in enterprises:
… 93 percent of business leaders believing internal collaboration is either crucial or very important to what they do, and 59 percent holding the same to be true of external collaboration.
Eighty-nine percent of respondents said that a formal collaboration system was a vital piece of infrastructure, yet 54 percent found the rapid convergence of collaboration and social tools to be very confusing. External collaboration was particularly problematic, with 71 percent feeling their organization has shortfalls in technical support for external and four in ten feeling strongly that external collaboration is badly supported.
The three biggest strategic drivers for improved collaboration were general productivity (47 percent), knowledge pooling (46 percent), and pulling together a dispersed workforce (36 percent). It was also seen as important to speeding up review processes, customer responses, and project completions.
The most important features to support collaboration, according to the research respondents, were sharing of documents (74 percent), workflows for comments and approvals (49 percent), and content access from mobile devices (37 percent).
Document and content sharing is highly likely to involve external collaborators beyond the firewall, yet traditional onsite systems are deliberately set up to be secured against access to those outside of the business. This means many users will turn to consumer cloud file-sharing services such as Dropbox, OneDrive, i-Cloud, Google Drive and YouSendIt.
Such consumer file-share and sync services are banned in more than half (56 percent) of organizations, with 27 percent actually restricting access. Only 23 percent currently provide an approved business grade alternative.
Many challenges. Many needs. Many opportunities.