Choosing whether to force users to use a single collaboration platform or support multiple applications is a difficult decision for enterprise IT.
In the world of collaborative technology, there is an old debate in the field of IT, whether it is «best in class» software or the establishment of a universal platform.
IT professionals are primarily inclined to focus on consolidating around a single application or suite, rather than supporting multiple tools because it is easier to implement, manage, and secure a secure work environment, says senior analyst Raúl Castañón-Martínez at 451 Research. But there is a strong argument that allows workers to use the best tool for this job, and this may mean something different for a marketing team than for a group of developers.
«We’ve seen a remarkable change in ownership in recent years, which means employees feel more empowered and more vocal and proactive about the tools they use for the job,» says Castañón-Martínez. This dynamic causes some organizations to accept multiple applications for the same purpose, such as allowing both Slack and Microsoft Teams for group chat. This creates additional overlaps and challenges for IT.
There are genuine and consistently proven benefits for companies that take a general approach, but rigidity is not always the best strategy for today’s workforce. Balancing the wishes of users with company-wide considerations in terms of security, productivity and the ever-present need to capture and generate value from internal data requires an open mind with a note of empathy.
The advantages of flexibility
The tools for collaboration are «coordinating and interconnecting people, processes and data,» says Ted Ross, CIO of Los Angeles. Its IT store, which mainly uses G Suite, supports 41 departments of the city, with approximately 40,000 employees.