3 reasons why your collaboration software fails to deliver desired ROI



Sep 5, 2017

Over the years, your company has tried several collaboration tools. Software licenses were purchased, expensive hardware was installed and complex IT structures were built. Despite all your efforts and investments, workplace collaboration doesn’t seem to be improving. Employees can’t find their way to the available tools and collaboration is limited to emailing back and forth, making phone calls and surviving work trips. In the meantime, your expensive software licenses are gathering dust on the digital shelf and you’re wondering why the tool fails to deliver the desired results. In this blog, I tell you about three frequently heard reasons why collaboration tools don’t get return on investment and I explain what you should do differently.

Reason 1: no cloud solution

Only a few years ago, on-premise software was prevailing. As a result, many companies still have highly customized tools for which upgrades are complex and manual. In the meantime, other technical innovations follow each other at a rapid pace. Smartphones and tablets have found their way to the workplace and employees consider them as essential to daily work activities. As a result, companies need to have a different approach on enterprise software. Software should not only be accessible through desktop computers, but should also work seamlessly on mobile devices. The problem is that many on-premise collaboration software is stuck on computers, hindering remote teamwork. In a world where boundaries are disappearing, teams need to be able to work together no matter where and when they work and no matter what device they use. With on-premise collaboration software, answering to these needs becomes a complex and expensive, if not impossible challenge.

What should you do: replace on-premise collaboration software with a cloud based solution to facilitate remote teamwork in an effective and affordable way. Since cloud software is available via services on the web, it is accessible on any place and device that has internet access. It thereby answers to the needs and habits of your employees, making the tool more appealing and efficient to them. Together with the IT related benefits of cloud solutions that are listed below, cloud collaboration offers a better chance at ROI.

On-premise Cloud based
Longer implementation Rapid implementation
Expensive customization Non-technical configuration
Highly dependent on IT resources Little IT involvement
Expensive and complex upgrades Automatic upgrades included
Added hardware costs No hardware costs


Reason 2: lack of user convenience

In many collaboration software implementations, IT tends to focus on technical matters and there’s little attention for user-related issues. As a result, many collaboration tools lack a fair level of user convenience. It’s the simple things that make daily work life much easier that are completely overlooked by IT. Think about scheduling meetings. It would be easy and efficient if a video conference could be scheduled straight from a mail program, including a link to the virtual meeting room. This type of interoperability between different enterprise collaboration is very valuable to users. When tools are not seamlessly working together it will cause users serious inconvenience in their daily work routine. You will see that obviously, employees start using other tools that offer them what they need. Tools that are not approved or monitored by your IT department. In the worst-case scenario, they will completely stop using the collaboration tool you invested so much money and effort in.

What should you do: create a platform in which all your communication and collaboration tools are merged and connected. Within this platform, teams can come together to communicate, share and exchange. To do so, they may use a variety of tools for chatting, video conferencing, conference calling and sharing documents. They need to be able to access the platform both at their desktop and remotely. Moreover, the platform should allow external relations like customers or suppliers to have access. Once you have such a seamless platform of collaboration tools, users experience several advantages that boost work efficiency and the ROI of your tools will increase.


Reason 3: failed user adoption

You can have a great cloud based solution that is completely interoperable with your IT infrastructure, but what if employees don’t use it (efficiently)? Your problem: failed user adoption. In order to get the most out of collaboration software, users should know about its existence and  how to use it. Take into account that employees often consider new tools as an unwelcome change that brings extra work load. Resistance, a lack of knowledge and unclear communication are just a few factors that hinder successful implementation of your collaboration tool.

What you should do: set up a user adoption program for your collaboration software. User adoption is about creating acceptance by eliminating uncertainties and highlighting benefits and opportunities. It’s about explaining and showing users how the tool will change the way they work for the better. User adoption programs increase awareness, acceptance and understanding and will help your tool to become an essential part in daily work life, which will increase the ROI of your software.


Accomplishing the desired ROI

As you can see, there are several factors influencing the achieved ROI of your collaboration software. To increase the ROI, you should consider moving enterprise collaboration to the cloud, create an interoperable platform for great user experience and organize an user adoption program to increase awareness, acceptance and understanding. An extensive project, for which you might need some advice. We are happy to help you with choosing and implementing cloud collaboration tools. If you want to learn more about our approach, check our whitepaper ‘Mind the gap, focus on the user’.

Whitepaper collaboration consultancy

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