Team collaboration apps such as Microsoft Teams, Cisco Webex Teams (formerly Spark), and Slack have captured the attention of knowledge workers at companies large and small, across industries, and with no geographic limitations. These apps are changing the work paradigm, allowing seamless conversations -- chat, audio, or video -- among team members in shared, persistent workspaces. That persistency is key, resulting in an easy-to-search record not only of the conversation itself but all the supplemental material that came along with it. Add in integrations to common business applications -- email, CRM, or task managers, for example -- and some workers may never find the need to leave their team collaboration app; they can simply jump from one team space to another all the day long, turning team collaboration apps into the single-pane-of-glass experience promised by UC solutions of old.
To better assess how enterprise organizations are approaching the team collaboration app procurement decision and how teams are using the technology, we recently surveyed the No Jitter and Enterprise Connect communities. In total, 160 IT professionals who are responsible -- individually or as part of a team -- for evaluating and/or making strategic technology decisions for their enterprise organizations participated in the survey. Click through this slideshow to discover what we learned.
Widespread Use of Team Collaboration As we know from our previous research (see the 2017 survey results), team collaboration apps are becoming a go-to tool choice among enterprise users. Results from the 2018 No Jitter survey on team collaboration, conducted in May, confirm the rising importance of team collaboration apps in enterprises, with 90% of 160 IT respondents indicating that employees within their organizations currently use one or more such tools. Broken out by company size, our research shows:
92% use within large enterprises (1,000 or more employees)
85% use within medium-sized enterprises (from 100 to 999 employees)
90% use within small companies (less than 100 employees)
Fewer than 10% of these organizations have standardized on a single team collaboration app. Rather, slightly more than 60% of all respondents see at least three different team collaboration apps in use among employees.
Larger Equals More As noted in the previous slide, three or more team collaboration apps are in use at respondent organizations overall. As shown above, the larger the company, the greater the chance of multiple apps in use.
Lots of Room to Grow... While team collaboration apps are widely adopted across our survey base, the opportunity isn't saturated within companies. Consider the results for large companies, as shown above. While we know team collaboration is in use at 92% of companies with 1,000 or more employees, only 5% of those respondents indicated that adoption has reached 100% of the total potential user base.
...and Grow and Grow That these are still early days for team collaboration apps -- despite the uptake we've already seen -- is evident in the expectation among respondents that the number of daily users within their organizations will grow over the next 12 months. Overall, 88% of respondents said they anticipated a hike in the number of daily users in this timeframe, with even higher rates revealing themselves when segmenting the response base by company size. Only when we look at small companies does the growth projection dip below 70%.
Gotta Have It Team collaboration apps aren't just a nice-to-have for most enterprise organizations, but a necessary component of their future communications and collaboration strategies -- more than 95% of respondents said so across all company sizes. But don't look for team collaboration apps to run roughshod over traditional UC&C tools. Two to three times as many respondents across all company sizes said they view team collaboration apps as supplementary to, rather than replacements for, their legacy communications and collaboration tools.
IT as Decision Maker While viral adoption has certainly attributed to the rapid uptake of team collaboration apps -- think the Slack effect -- within our respondent base, IT groups are (not surprisingly) exerting their rights as technology overseers. Most respondents (80%) said IT plays a role in the team collaboration app decision, whether merely recommending a product or mandating adoption of its selected app while disallowing use of any other similar tool. And, as you might expect, the larger the company, the greater the role IT plays in the team collaboration app decision.
Legacy UC Edge Team collaboration "is a wide open landscape," as one respondent wrote in a verbatim response to the question, "If IT has either recommended or selected a team collaboration app for enterprise use, which type of vendor did it select?" Thirteen percent of respondents felt likewise, saying that vendor type is not a decision factor for team collaboration tool choice. But, as our results show, team collaboration apps from legacy UC vendors, such as Cisco Webex (formerly Spark) and Microsoft Teams, do have a bit of an edge on options from pure-plays like Atlassian Stride and Slack, UCaaS providers like Fuze and RingCentral Glip, or Web properties such as Amazon Chime or Workplace by Facebook. This perhaps, is par for the course given the role IT plays in the team collaboration app decision among our survey base, as noted on the previous slide.
License Add-On Enterprise organizations represented by our survey base show a preference for adding team collaboration to an existing product license -- whether that license is for a legacy UC product or an office productivity suite, for example. This is not surprising, given that two to three times as many respondents across all company sizes view team collaboration apps as supplementary to their legacy communications and collaboration tools, as we learned on the previous slide. This preference is relatively the same no matter whether large enterprise or medium-sized business.
All-in-One Interface Team collaboration apps bring together a variety of modes of communications within one platform – and users seem to be taking advantage of most of them. Among common team collaboration functions, only "whiteboard sessions" got the nod from fewer than 80% of respondents. In addition to the team collaboration capabilities shown above, respondents called out a variety of functions in use at their organizations. These include meeting recordings, workflow integration (see next slide for more on that), and task management.
A look at how enterprises are addressing team collaboration apps as part of their communications and collaboration portfolios