How to pick the right collaboration tools for your enterprise

Tools

The number and variety of enterprise collaboration tools have exploded in recent years, presenting a confusing array of options. To help determine which ones make sense for your company, here are five questions to ask, courtesy of Thursday Bram at WebWorkerDaily.

First, you need to have a sense of where employees will be working. If some are working via free WiFi connections at a coffee shop or airport, they may need more secure tools than those working over secure networks.

Second, you have to consider whether your collaboration tools are built to grow as your organization grows. Some technologies are capable of scaling more easily than others.

Third, you might want to think about whether the vendor is likely to be around down the road when you need it. There has been an explosion of web-based collaboration offerings lately, but you want to make sure you aren't left hanging once you've chosen tools.  

Fourth, you have to ask yourself whether you can afford to be a guinea pig for bleeding-edge tools. "Many application developers will court users when they're still in beta, offering free services and tools in order to get feedback on their work," Bram writes. "This can be a great way for an individual to find inexpensive applications as well as get access to the newest features, but there's a downside when you're working on the enterprise level."

Finally, you will want to figure out whether it make sense over the long term to purchase web-based tools on a subscription basis or buy them outright. Bram warns that subscription pricing can be more expensive in the long run.

For more:
- see Thursday Bram's post at WebWorkerDaily

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