The red flags are no secret. Miscommunication, unmet deadlines, and chaotic processes are running rampant. If your business doesn’t make some changes soon, company progress will lie stagnant or decline.
The need for collaborative software may be obvious, but deciphering what type of system is best can be complicated. Will a stand-alone app suffice, or would the organization benefit most from a full collaboration suite?
Unpacking the differences between a collaboration suite and stand-alone collaboration apps can help your company make the most valuable investment. A third1 of businesses surveyed by the Harvard Business Review say their technology makes it harder, not easier to collaborate. Let’s dig into some details so your business can use new technology to move forward, not backward.
What is a collaboration suite?
A collaborative software suite empowers employees through a wide range of connected tools to attain shared goals creatively by combining skillsets and expertise. In addition to simple services like business email, calendars, and messaging, collaboration suites may offer modules for managing contacts, documents, tasks, projects, and more.
What are the differences between a collaboration suite and a stand-alone app?
When evaluating collaboration suites and stand-alone apps, consider where your company plans to be a few years down the road and plan for scalability. What might be a great solution today could become obsolete a year from now. With that in mind, here is where collaborative software and stand-alone apps diverge.
1. Cost efficiency
Initially, stand-alone apps appear lighter on the budget. Who knew collaboration could be so cheap? Later, you may realize the app only meets one or two needs in your organization, so management begins looking for more apps to fill the gaps.
Thanks to cloud technology, collaboration suites are much more affordable than on-premises legacy systems. Though the monthly rate might come in higher than a stand-alone app, you’re getting the best bang for your buck. After adding up all the fees for the stand-alone apps required to cover the same bases as a suite, it ends up costing a business more.
Over three years, companies can save an average of $247,000 by eliminating third-party communication tools. Choosing a comprehensive suite from the start releases money to invest in other areas that will drive the company forward.
Employees may need little to no training time to comfortably use a stand-alone app, especially if its interface is similar to a personal app. But what about all the other apps needed to collaborate on documents, manage projects, automate manual processes, etc.? Every program will require separate training, driving up costs.
Training is a one-and-done experience for collaboration suite users. After the initial learning curve, employees won’t have to endure new app training sessions continually. Instead, modules within a suite work very similarly, making the transition smoother.
Little to no data can be integrated into most stand-alone apps. The more apps required for a business to function, the more fragmented work and conversations become. Finding information turns into a guessing game.
What if you could link core software and other critical communication components to a collaboration suite? Everything you need becomes accessible inside one system—a seamless digital workplace.
Switching between software is one of the most significant barriers to productivity. The more systems a business uses, the more toggling required to complete daily work tasks. Stand-alone apps only worsen the problem by adding yet one more tab to the laptop screen, one more icon on a mobile device. Do you want your employees to waste up to 60 minutes3 a day navigating apps?
Nine in ten4 survey respondents say their end-user computing systems and technology have led to productivity improvements within their organizations. A user-friendly collaboration suite facilitates a less stressful and more efficient workplace for employees. Under one tab, numerous tasks are accomplished, such as holding discussions, adjusting workflow, assigning tasks, or making announcements.
With the estimated cost of a data breach hovering at $3.9 million5, locking down data is no small matter. But when communication and work information are spread across multiple stand-alone apps, keeping a firm grip on data becomes increasingly challenging. Different providers offer various levels of security, and risky inconsistencies take root.
In collaborative software suites, several functions are covered under uniform security protocols. Tracking, user permissions, and authorization settings remain consistent under a single system. If security settings need adjustments, they can be made in one platform, rather than tediously updating settings in various stand-alone applications with offer disparate options.
Working around bugs is aggravating, particularly when there are several applications to handle. In the midst of a digital disaster, no one wants to waste time figuring out who to call for help.
Maintaining a central system with a single provider eliminates confusion when assistance is needed. You know just who to call. Some collaboration suite providers fix common problems and continually make other improvements through software updates, free of charge.
Do I really need a collaboration suite?
The ability to work together and make quicker decisions in a connected platform intensifies the agility needed to gain an edge in today’s market. Companies that are highly connected are more than twice6 as likely to report a favorable market position relative to their peers.
Consider your workforce, as well. 66%7 of employees want a single workplace collaboration software to achieve better workflow, improve productivity, and reduce chaos. A collaboration suite accomplishes all three objectives. At the same time, overall tech costs are reduced when compared with multiple stand-alone app subscriptions.
Should stand-alone apps be ignored, then? Not altogether. If a function such as audio/video isn’t included in a collaboration suite, it can be acquired as a stand-alone app, but subsequently integrated into the suite. This way, work, and communication still take place under one application.
What solutions can Kissflow collaboration provide?
Effective collaboration requires much more than just a communication app. Kissflow Collaboration understands the need for employees to collaborate over work tasks contextually in a variety of situations.
Whether in automated processes, projects, or cases, employees can plan workflow, manage tasks, and hold discussions. Instead of separating communication and work, Kissflow’s collaborative software enables employees to attach comments or documents directly to the task at hand. Other features, including surveys, channels, and messages, provide many ways to collect and share knowledge within teams or across the entire organization.
Join the ranks of agile, on-top businesses that dedicate time to promote and support effective collaboration. Experience the long-term benefits of a seamlessly united workplace with Kissflow.