Why a majority of enterprises rely on digital collaboration tools

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Ninety-five percent of respondents said their companies use video conferencing tools such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom, according to a recent TechRepublic Premium poll.

Image: iStockphoto/fizkes

Using digital tools is nothing new for enterprises. However, the number of different digital technologies businesses have implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which required many employees to work remotely, surpassed what was initially budgeted for, and was often procured at the expense of other projects targeted for 2020.

SEE: Research: Video conferencing tools and cloud-based solutions dominate digital workspaces; VPN and VDI less popular with SMBs (TechRepublic Premium)

Which collaboration platform-tools do enterprises use most? ZDNet’s sister site, TechRepublic Premium, polled 161 professionals to find out. The survey asked questions about digital tool adoption, how such tools are being used, plans for additional collaboration platform-tools, and more. 

Video conferencing and cloud-based collaboration tools were already being adopted by companies. But in 2020, video conferencing tools moved from ‘nice-to-have’ to ‘must-have’. Tools such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams dominated the list of top collaboration platforms businesses currently use, according to 95% of survey respondents. Only 2% of respondents do not currently use or plan to use any video conferencing tools in the next six to 12 months.

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At 75%, cloud-based storage services such as Dropbox and OneDrive ranked as popular choices for respondents, while cloud collaboration platforms such as Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 rounded out the top three list of collaboration platforms at 73%.

It should come as no surprise that respondents use collaboration platforms and tools for connecting remote workers (91%); enabling better communication between co-workers, departments, and managers (84%); for team management (61%); and both project management and staff training and education (54%). Less popular uses for such digital tools included managerial training and education (31%), HR (20%) and employee tracking (17%).

SEE: Research: Video conferencing tools and cloud-based solutions dominate digital workspaces; VPN and VDI less popular with SMBs (TechRepublic Premium)

The two most popular video conferencing tools, according to respondents, were Microsoft Teams (73%) and Zoom (63%). Fewer respondents reported using Cisco WebEx (21%), Google Hangouts (16%) and Skype Meet Now (11%).

As far as cloud-based office suites go, nearly three-quarters of respondents choose Office365 (73%), with Google Workspace the pick for one in five (20%).

In terms of cloud storage, OneDrive took the top position at 67%. Much lower in the rankings came Google Drive (33%), with Dropbox (22%) even further adrift. 

SEE: Research: Video conferencing tools and cloud-based solutions dominate digital workspaces; VPN and VDI less popular with SMBs (TechRepublic Premium)

The number one reason preventing survey respondents from using or planning to use any collaboration platform-tools was cost. In fact, 100% of respondents said that the cost of the technology impacted how quickly they could add digital collaboration tools.

In general, respondents have what they need; 76% are sufficiently satisfied with their current tools that they have no plans to adopt any more in the next six to 12 months.

Further, some respondents admitted confusion about what exactly certain tools do. For example, 23% of survey respondents seemed confused by the term ‘team management tools’.

Some respondents lacked any digital collaboration tools at their businesses. The following percentage of respondents opted out of enlisting team management tools (41%); password management software (39%); virtual desktop infrastructure (35%); project management tools (28%); team communication tools (27%); private cloud solutions (21%); cloud storage (7%); VPN (23%); and cloud-based office suites (6%); and video conferencing tools (2%).

The infographic below contains selected details from the research. To read more findings and analysis, download the full report: Research: Video conferencing tools and cloud-based solutions dominate digital workspaces; VPN and VDI less popular with SMBs (free for TechRepublic Premium subscribers). 

digitalworkplace-infographic.jpg



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