Shifts in Collaborative Practices November 2021
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As enterprises continue to build out capabilities to support remote work, collaboration‑tool vendors are implementing remote-work-related features and are aggressively competing for market share. In early 2021, collaboration-market leader Microsoft launched Viva—a new tool that acts as a hub for company resources, including e‑learning modules, employee communications, productivity metrics, and internal company information. This move has strengthened Microsoft's market position.
Other collaboration-tool vendors are also expanding the functionality of their applications. Cisco recently partnered with a number of collaboration-tool vendors to enable direct access to a range of third-party applications on the Webex platform. For example, from Webex, recruiters can use HackerRank to conduct skills interviews and presenters can use Read Dashboard to track audience sentiment.
Elsewhere, Adobe is launching beta versions of two new collaboration solutions with a focus on streamlining creative workflows. The first application, Creative Cloud Spaces, provides workers with a space to access and organize content libraries, project documents, and web links. The second application, Creative Cloud Canvas, provides creatives with a platform for displaying, collaborating on, and reviewing creative content. The beta releases of the new tools signal the next evolution of Adobe's Creative Cloud services and the firm's interest in improving creative collaboration.
Many enterprises that increased digitalization as a result of the covid‑19 pandemic are still optimizing workflows for both remote and hybrid work. Companies that faced fewer challenges in adapting to remote work are still looking for the best collaboration solutions to support workforce productivity. In some cases, technology firms with software-development resources might develop their own in‑house solutions that more directly address team or organizational needs. For example, Meta (formerly Facebook) developed its own in‑house applicant-tracking system that directly interfaces with the Facebook platform. However, the dynamic realities of hybrid work may necessitate the use of various solutions that provide organizations with the flexibility to adapt to changing organizational needs. As such, the shift toward modular collaboration suites that support a range of third-party software programs might prove to be a successful strategy for winning over prospective enterprises.
Other recent trends in collaboration software show a shift toward employing features that analyze the productivity and health (particularly the digital well‑being) of remote workforces. However, depending on implementation and company culture, worker‑data dashboards can either support the positive use of collaboration solutions or else create powerful and invasive employee-surveillance systems that stoke tensions between workers and employers.