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  • Team Collaboration Tools in 2019: Market Analysis, Trends, and Best Practices

Team Collaboration Tools in 2019: Market Analysis, Trends, and Best Practices

Category: B2B News

Team collaboration tools provide workplaces with a means to improve communication and reinforce their operations. With these, professionals can plan and schedule activities, delegate workload quickly, and track whether or not their daily tasks are going according to plan.

However, as with any other software, many aspects of the usage of team collaboration tools are closely tied to market trends. It is possible that certain functionalities of this type of platform from a few years ago are obsolete today, and you might also find that the top solution you have had your eye on before is no longer a leading platform.

To help you make sure that you are up-to-date on the latest trends regarding team collaboration, we have compiled so market analysis reports and statistics that might help you use your platform better or aid in you in finding a more suitable software for your operations.

team collaboration tools

Team collaboration software has evolved over the years. According to the Zion Market Research, back in the 90’s, collaboration software simply facilitated group processes. Nowadays, these are tools that can help groups plan, manage, and automate said processes. They offer a plethora of functionalities for the different aspects of team management ranging from task delegation to time tracking. These modern collaboration tools also allow teams to communicate more effectively as well as store all of their important documents in one convenient space.

With all these advancements, it comes as no surprise that these tools have become indispensable parts of business operations. In fact, as you can see on the table below, it is among the platforms forecasted to have a growth in its market share until 2021. Alongside it are business systems such as ERP platforms, human capital management software, CRM platforms, and analytics applications.

Source: www.appsruntheworld.com

Over the years, there has also been an increase of team collaboration software vendors that provide high-quality products with reliable features. In the Collaboration Tools Solution Market 2018 Global Analysis, Growth, Trends and Opportunities Research Report Forecasting to 2023, the leading collaboration industry player is Avaya. This company is also joined by Broadsoft, Cisco Systems, and Good Technology on the list of key collaboration software providers. 

Of course, purchasing platforms from the leading vendors in the industry is not enough to make sure you are able to make the most out of your investment. In order to maximize your team collaboration tool, it is important to have a good grasp of the trends that are shaping the usage of these software solutions. To do that, studying market analysis reports is necessary. This will give you a clearer view as to what these collaboration tools are currently being used for, what solutions are dominating the industry, what the shortcomings of these solutions are. In turn, you can know exactly why you are investing in as well as be able to prepare for any trouble that you might encounter in the future.

Market Analysis Data on Team Collaboration That You Should Know

1. Not All Companies Use Team Collaboration Software

While collaboration tools are great additions to your arsenal of business systems and can greatly optimize your operations, not all companies utilize them. According to a survey by SpiceWorks, only 42% of SMBs use collaboration applications for their operations. For businesses with 100 to 499 staff members, only 38% have invested in this software and for corporations with over 500 workers, only 53% have it as part of their office system.

One of the main reasons for this is because there are types of platforms such as ERP software, CRM software, or marketing software that provide built-in collaboration options. While this is handy can save you money, it is important to note that more often than not, these features cannot provide the specialized capabilities that dedicated team collaboration apps have.

2. The Collaboration Application Market is Expanding Continually

In a market forecast conducted by Apps Run the World, results showed that in 2016, the collaboration application market grew by 2.6%, reaching almost $8.2 billion in licensing and subscription revenues. According to them, at this rate, the market is expected to reach $9.5 billion by 2021. With this in mind, you can rest assured that there will be more innovative team collaboration functionalities and products for you to choose from over time.

Moreover, these projected numbers show that team collaboration platforms are increasingly becoming necessary to run a business that is comprised of multiple teams and departments. As business strategies and company operations evolve, so should the technology that they use in order to maximize their productivity and quality.

3. Collaboration Software Reinforces Existing Strategies

Utilizing business collaboration techniques can yield the best possible results in your operations, and it can help your team members be more accustomed to working together. However, there is still a way to improve your overall performance. In a study conducted by McKinsey & Company, they revealed that the right team collaboration software can improve company productivity by up to 30%. 

After formulating your strategies for your project, you will know your team’s capabilities, their limitations, and the steps of your process that you will need closer guidance. This is when you implement a team collaboration tool. After doing so, you can focus on the tasks at hand one by one without worrying about any missteps that might occur.

4. Team Collaboration Tools Can Process Overwhelming Data Faster

In today’s digital age, the efficiency of your tools can make a big difference in whether or not your business stands out among your competitors. A way that your company can perform well is through the amount of data you can process and how fast you can handle all of it. According to IBM, enterprise data will grow at a rate of 50 times per year annually through 2020. Moreover, 94% of CMOs see the significance of advanced analytics in helping them achieve their objectives.

Furthermore, the study also said that companies that use data when making marketing and sales decisions improve their ROI by 15% to 20%. This shows that businesses are changing their perspectives on how useful data can be. Additionally, according to Harvard Business Review, 46% of organizations are now utilizing around five to fourteen sources of data for analysis.

5. Companies Don’t Collaborate Enough

A survey conducted by Queens University interviewed employees born between 1980 to 2000. Results found that nearly 39% of employees believe that they don’t collaborate enough. In a different study conducted by Alfresco of more than 753 employees, it was found that nearly 83% of professionals collaborate on projects with the help of technology. 82% of the participants also expressed that the negative impact would be great should this technology be unavailable to them.

With these results in mind, it can be concluded that many businesses value the importance of team collaboration platforms when implementing projects as well as performing daily tasks. While not all of them view this technology as a necessity yet, many of their younger employees value think otherwise, and eventually, these collaboration platforms will be part of their operations.

6. Mobility is Key in Team Collaboration

According to the findings of Alfresco and Dimensional Research in 2015, only 49% of businesses use mobile devices for collaboration. However, 92% of them thought it is important. Also, data security was not prioritized, as only 38% of the respondents made sure to keep sensitive information secure. On the other hand, 51% of the participants didn’t have a problem using public document sharing tools for work collaboration, while 16% said they did not use such tools since they were not approved for use at the workplace.

Despite these results, the use of collaboration platforms is now more widespread. A study conducted by No Jitter Research in May 2018 resulted in 90% of the participating IT respondents saying that employees within their organizations use one or more collaboration software. Categorized according to business size, results showed 92% collaboration software use within large enterprises, 85% within medium-sized companies, and 90% use within small businesses. Furthermore, over 60% of the respondents see at least three team collaboration apps used by employees, while fewer than 10% standardize on a single team one.

Top Team Collaboration Tools You Should Consider

Now that you have a better understanding of how the team collaboration software market works, we can start discussing the tools that have been able to stay up-to-date on trends and provide its users with the features they require to optimize their operations. Of course, there are plenty more solutions available on the market for you to choose from. You can start by taking a look at our list of top collaboration platforms. This should provide you with a comprehensive explanation of what these tools have to offer for businesses of different sizes and industries.

1. Wrike

Project management software Wrike is an award-winning team collaboration platform that offers top-of-the-line tools designed to help co-located and distributed groups perform more effectively. Some of its features include a three-pane project view for accessing important data at a glance, tags, and folders for viewing and sharing data, and activity streaming options with @mention capabilities to engage your team.

Teams can benefit from the plethora of tools Wrike has to offer, such as its real-time newsfeed, interactive timeline (Gantt chart), and email integration. Also, there won’t be a need to switch to other programs when communicating because this platform lets team members engage in in-platform discussions. Finally, Write has robust tools for tracking time as well as individual and team progress, task and workload management, document collaboration, and custom reporting.

If you want more information about this platform’s functionalities, you can easily sign up for a Wrike free trial here.

Wrike

This award is given to the best product in our project management software category. It highlights its superior quality and underlines the fact that it's a leader on the market.

Wrike won our Best Project Management Software Award 2018

Our score
9.7
User satisfaction
99%

Wrike offers a free plan for small teams of up to 5 users. On the other hand, for larger companies, you can opt for one of four paid plans, which are priced depending on the features you need, the storage capacity you require, and the number of users you need the platform to support. These plans range from $9.80/user/month to $34.60/user/month. There is also an enterprise pricing plan that is available by quote.

2. Monday.com

Collaboration application Monday.com is a leading product on the market for its single, accessible hub. Formerly known as dapulse, it empowers agents and team members to work better by streamlining workflows and increasing transparency when it comes to task delegation. It comes with great activity management features and is smartly integrated. Manual entry is also not required when using Monday.com, which saves you lots of time to accomplish other tasks.

Other than keeping track of your projects and common operations, you can use Monday.com to assemble and display progress data in a logical and understandable manner. Also, one of its unique features is its advanced scheduling capability, which can be applied to both task management in micro and macro levels. Overall, this platform helps teams perform no just in the best possible way, but better.

To get a better idea of how this software can help you with your operations, sign up for a Monday.com free trial here.

Monday.com offers four enterprise pricing plans that are bundled according to the types of features you need, the security options you want, and storage capacity. These plans cost anywhere between $25/month to $118/month when billed annually. If you’re not sure about investing in this product yet, you may also register for their free trial plan.

3. Smartsheet

A web-based collaboration tool, Smartsheet benefits businesses of all sizes. This tool leverages the power of project management, task management, crowdsourcing, and sales pipeline tracking in one convenient hub. With it, you can easily create group calendars, enable version control, automate workflows, and share files with team members. It is also equipped with customizable dashboards that are equipped with robust security options, real-time analytics, and built-in communication tools for your convenience.

What makes Smartsheet even more unique from other leading collaboration platforms is its use of spreadsheets in line with visual timeline management. This allows it to have a familiar interface that both novice and professional users can learn quickly. Accessible from any browser and device, this platform is also designed to blend well be integrated with your core business systems

Smartsheet offers three straightforward pricing packages that are billed annually. These are bundled according to the number of sheets you can create, the types of features included in the plan, as well as how many users and collaborators can be enrolled in the system. Prices range from $14/user/month to $25/user/month. For larger corporations, there is an Enterprise plan available by quote.

4. Clarizen

An enterprise-grade software solution, Clarizen features a plethora of team collaboration tools that are designed to help you streamline your workflow and boost overall productivity. This easy-to-use, cloud-powered asset combines essential features such as end-to-end project dashboards, time tracking tools, budget tracking options, and scheduling capabilities.

Users can utilize its essential features that boost performance, such as end-to-end project dashboards, project planning and budgeting, role assignment, and advanced security options. This platform also helps you get a well-defined workstructure that you and your team members can easily follow. If your work requires you to be on the go, Clarizen’s social collaboration mobile-optimized features make it easy when you’re out on the field. Finally, you get a fast and measurable ROI.

If you want to investigate the features closely you can easily do so when you sign up for Clarizen free trial here.

Clarizen offers quote-based plans that are priced according to how advanced the features you need are as well as the number of custom actions, panels, and fields, you need the platform to support. They also offer a free trial for those who want to get a better feel what this product has to offer before purchasing it.

5. Zoho Projects

Project management system Zoho Projects is an intuitive and user-friendly software that aims to make business projects more productive. A popular tool amongst companies of all sizes, it allows you to improve team communication, make monitoring easy, and enhance output. It is equipped with features such as project budgeting, time logging, expense tracking, SLA integration, and kanban boards. With this, you get to break down your large projects into manageable units as effortlessly as possible.

Zoho Projects also boasts a secure structure that will safeguard confidential information about your company. Moreover, it provides you with custom permissions that let you define the roles of your team members as well as control how much of your dashboard collaborators can access. In case these features are not enough for you, you may even integrate the platform with other software systems in the Zoho productivity suite or with third-party applications that you are already using.

Should you want to learn more about this platform, sign up for a Zoho Projects free trial here.

As for pricing, Zoho Projects has a free plan for teams with up to 5 users. This is inclusive of the basic functionalities of the system. In case you are looking for something more advanced and can accommodate more users, there are also paid plans you can choose from. These range from $25/month to $150/month when billed monthly. Discounts apply should you choose an annual plan instead.

Team Collaboration Best Practices You Can Follow

Aside from understanding market trends and purchasing software that suits your operations, it is also a good tip to implement team collaboration practices. Using these, you can handle your team better and optimize the way you work. On top of these best practices, you could also check out our article on team communication strategies.

1. Strategize Before Investing

Your team collaboration tool is only as good as how you use it for your operations. Instead of purchasing the first one that promises to give you the best results, it is important that you first determine how you and your staff will use it for your operations. By doing so, you can get a clearer view of what type of tools you will need to reinforce your strategies and make the most out of whatever platform you buy. Moreover, this will keep you from having to pay for certain functionalities that you won’t even need to carry out your operations.   

In addition to this, it is also crucial that you gauge the technical expertise of those who will use the program. If the majority of your team are not tech-savvy then, it is best to opt for easy-to-use, no-code platforms. Meanwhile, if plenty of your staff members are adept in different programming languages then you can choose more advanced platforms that you can customize to your liking.

2. Choose Leaders With Balanced Ideals

There are different types of leaders. Some are strict and value the enforcement of rules while some are laid-back and put more emphasis on creativity. If you are to choose a leader for your team, you must find one who can balance these different ideals. This way, you can help your team members collaborate effectively and grow as individuals while making sure that all of the tasks lined up are being accomplished in a timely manner.

3. Provide Clearly Defined Roles

Teamwork relies heavily on how well your members collaborate with each other. To ensure this, you need to have specific goals as well as clearly defined roles and tasks for your staff. This will help everyone make sense of what exactly they should be working on, preventing any conflicts of jurisdiction within the team. The trick here is to find a way to create concrete action plans that have enough room for your team members to unleash their creativity.  

4. Hear Out Your Team Members

As the saying goes, two heads are better than one. When working with other people, it is important to hear out their thoughts because they are bound to contribute certain ideas that you might not have come up with yet. This will allow you to simplify your brainstorming process, make smarter decisions, as well as facilitate more productive and successful projects in the future.

5. Trust Your Employees to Complete Their Tasks

Your team members will need your guidance when formulating strategies as well as implementing them, and some require more assistance than others. As a leader, your job is to make sure they know how to do theirs properly by giving them mindful advice that will help them improve their craft rather than controlling their every move. The best that you can do here is to check on them for updates as needed, and let them know that they can turn to you if they have any questions or concerns. From there, the most you should do is lay out the parameters of your strategies and trust your team members to stay within them as they accomplish their assigned tasks.

Conclusion

Team collaboration software are undoubtedly helpful in optimizing operations. However, if you are not in-the-know about market trends and the statistics related to the functions of these platforms, you might not be able to use them to your advantage. The bottom line here is that making the most out of your team collaboration tools does not end with simply choosing which one meets your requirements. You should also take the time to analyze how other companies are using them and what problems you should expect as you implement one.

Hopefully, with our comprehensive compilation of the different trends shaping modern team collaboration software, you were able to find ways on how to maximize your investment.

In case you are still unsure about which team collaboration tool to pick for your company, we highly recommend that you try Wrike out. This platform is popular for a reason: it offers a great set of powerful yet easy-to-use functionalities that can reinforce and improve your operations. It also has a scalable architecture that can cater to the needs of businesses both big and small. You can sign up for a Wrike free trial here to try out its features for yourself.

By Nestor Gilbert

Senior writer for FinancesOnline. If he is not writing about the booming SaaS and B2B industry, with special focus on developments in CRM and business intelligence software spaces, he is editing manuscripts for aspiring and veteran authors. He has compiled years of experience editing book titles and writing for popular marketing and technical publications.

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