BY Fast Company Contributor 2 MINUTE READ

Collaboration tools are nothing new – they have been around for many years, but the events of the last two years have accelerated their adoption as well as innovation around the offerings. As the world continues to adapt in a post-pandemic world and the hybrid-remote workforce becomes the norm, collaboration tools are evolving rapidly. New functionality is constantly being developed to enhance the experience, and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other next-generation technologies are being incorporated into mainstream tools.

Teamwork in the cloud

Workforces have never been more geographically dispersed than they are today, which has made collaboration tools critical to business productivity. While such solutions have been in existence for years, the uptake has not been widespread, and many organisations have been running proprietary in-house systems that are no longer feasible.

The trend toward remote working makes cloud-based solutions essential in allowing team members to work together, coordinate tasks and transition seamlessly between devices. Choosing the right collaboration solution is essential to business success and productivity.

New features, new functionality

As the adoption of cloud-based collaboration tools has accelerated and become a vital business enabler, innovations and new features are rapidly being rolled out to increase functionality. One essential component of remote and virtual working is the ability to track information to improve overall efficiency. New tools such as real-time note-taking, as well as version control and history, help teams to keep records and understand processes as they go.

There are also new innovations being rolled out, utilising next-generation technologies such as AI and Virtual Reality (VR). VR, for example, is being used to create virtual meeting rooms and other virtual spaces, where people who are working remotely can meet ‘in person’. This technology is being combined with AI to create smart meeting rooms, with advanced technology collaboration such as automated minutes of meetings. The ultimate goal is to reduce mundane, repetitive tasks using smart technology, to enable more time for productivity and value-adding activities.

Futureproofing collaboration

The future remains uncertain, but it seems more than likely that workforces going forward will be a hybrid of remote and on-premises. This means that collaboration tools need to be able to integrate the entire workspace into one so that the working experience is consistent regardless of location.

Organisations therefore need to be careful to select the right tools for the job, based on their own business requirements. This may mean only a limited set of features is required, or that an entire enterprise-grade system is necessary, but a trusted IT partner can assist in understanding needs and sourcing solutions. It is also critical to ensure that collaboration tools are open for integration with third-party solutions to enable additional functionality and that they are intuitive and easy to use.

The key to collaboration is to simplify and improve efficiency, without compromising on privacy and data security. Your IT partner should assist in delivering a solution that enables the workforce of today and the future.

By Ankush Joshi, Service Delivery Manager at In2IT Technologies