Collaborative Workplace Management Adoption: Choosing a Platform


Although the concept of collaborative work management (CWM) has been around for many years, widespread adoption has been fleeting. That may be about to change. Some estimates suggest that upwards of two-thirds of organizations will have implemented some sort of CWM system by 2025. For better or worse, a new and more intense focus on collaborative work appears ready to overtake organizations in nearly every sector.

As organizations move into the CWM environment, the software and applications they rely on to power collaborative work will be critical. Roughly half-a-dozen platforms currently dominate the space; we will not get into those products here. Rather, in this article, we’ll help you understand how to choose a platform. For research focusing on a particular product, check out our ISG Provider Lens™ studies and Buyers Guides.

CWM Basics

CWM is a strategy of bringing together resources, tasks and team members in a collaborative environment powered by shared goals and ideals. The strategy emphasizes accountability and transparency, along with open lines of communication regardless of where team members are located. A good platform provides the right environment.

The following are key components of a CWM platform:

  • Task and project management
  • Accessibility and visibility
  • Real-time collaboration capabilities
  • Data management
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Task automation

In a successful CWM environment, technology enhances collaboration rather than working against it. Likewise, buy-in is high. Teams do not use technology just because it's necessary, they use it because it makes them better at what they do.

Key Things to Look For

When it comes time to choose a CWM platform, enterprises should consider four key components. The chances of finding a perfect platform that does everything you need are not high. So it’s important to establish your priorities. The more items checked off the priority list, the more useful a platform will be.

Look for the following in a CWM platform:

1. Adequate integration capabilities

Moving directly from legacy systems to CWM without a transitional period is unrealistic, but a platform with adequate integration capabilities is a must. Organizations should look for something that integrates with existing systems and tools. A platform that integrates with workplace applications and standard procedures eases the transition from legacy models to CWM strategies.

2. User friendliness

While upper management is always cognizant of budgets, KPIs and the like, team members who constitute the majority of people who will use the new platform are more concerned about its user-friendliness and the learning curve. Therefore, organizations should look for a platform they believe their teams can easily adopt and learn.

3. Scalability

An investment in a new CWM platform can be a sizable one. Organizations want a platform that will grow with them. Otherwise, ongoing investments in upgrades reduce profitability and productivity.

4. A commitment to security

On the security front, it's not enough to look for a platform that a developer claims is secure. Organizations need to see a provable commitment to security over the long term. Any security issues will ultimately land on the organization rather than the platform it chooses. Do not take risks.

In addition to these four, you may want to consider cross-functional collaboration, user flexibility, reporting capabilities and other components that are important to your day-to-day operations. Regardless of your organization’s particular needs, choosing a CWP platform will have a definite impact on operations. Making a choice based on brand alone doesn't make sense. It is better to put in the time and effort to find a platform that ticks as many boxes as possible.

ISG helps enterprises navigate the rapidly evolving software market, including collaborative work management platforms. Contact us to find out how we can help you get started.