Features of collaboration tools that enhance adoption

Posted by John Glover

05-Dec-2014 11:05:00

Features of collaboration tools that enhance adoptionOne of the most common things people say when their organisation starts using the Kahootz cloud collaboration platform is that their users adopt it quickly, with no or minimal training.

It’s no accident that we get responses like these – for over a decade, we’ve worked purposely to create intuitive cloud collaboration software that is easy to use and that people enjoy working with.

But what are the features of cloud collaboration tools that enhance adoption – both by organisations and their users? Looking at the Wikipedia entry on Software as a Service (SaaS), the article lists a range of adoption drivers and adoption challenges to focus on. So, we at Kahootz set ourselves the challenge of measuring up cloud collaboration tools against relevant factors in each. These are our findings.

Adoption Drivers

1. Web-based user interfaces
Organisations are increasingly turning to cloud-based software which can be operated via a web interface. Why? Well, they are more willing to adopt these technologies opposed to traditional client-server applications, particularly because online software doesn’t require expensive ongoing support and it frequently offers a more modern user experience. These factors go a long way to explaining why cloud collaboration tools, rather than self-hosted applications, are increasingly adopted by organisations.

2. Standardisation of web technologies
The standardisation of technologies such as HTML, CSS, PHP and various web application frameworks has significantly reduced the cost of developing cloud collaboration platforms, bringing down their cost in comparison to standalone solutions.

3. Increased broadband penetration and speed
Super-fast broadband has made using remotely hosted cloud collaboration software comparably fast to on-premises solutions. Platforms like Kahootz are also designed to work well over 3G and other mobile connections, ensuring they can be accessed from almost any location with any internet enabled device.

Adoption Challaneges –and how to overcome them

1. Security
Cloud collaboration software stores data on third party servers. Security is therefore a major issue. Kahootz solves this issue by providing 256-bit SSL encryption, protecting data at every stage of its journey from browser to server and back again. It has also been independently penetration tested to the satisfaction of UK government departments, local authorities and major enterprises and offers a full audit trail of workspace activity.

2. Customisation
If software can’t be customised to meet users’ needs, it creates a barrier to successful adoption. Many cloud collaboration platforms can be customised to display different branding, and Kahootz stands out because it also allows you to choose the exact tools you make available to any user within any workspace.

3. Integration
For cloud collaboration software to be easily adopted, it needs to integrate where needed with existing applications and data. Cloud collaboration platforms like Kahootz integrate with standard productivity tools such as Microsoft Office, even allowing you to edit documents within a workspace using a Microsoft Word plugin. Data can be imported into the workspace from other applications, and can be exported in a range of compatible formats.

4. Updated versions
Some platforms force users into adopting new versions, which can result in additional training costs or increase the chances that users will make errors. Kahootz avoids this by introducing gradual updates that extend the functionality of its platform – while an intuitive interface ensures that users can easily operate the software with little or no training.

As you can see from this analysis, barriers to adopting cloud collaboration software are being eroded as the web gets faster and software gets more secure and flexible.

However, what these factors miss out are the two key drivers to successfully adopting new software – usability and management buy-in. Kahootz has been designed with usability in mind, meaning it’s simple for people to put it to work in a variety of situations. If you really want to ensure that your cloud collaboration software is adopted by your users, ensure that senior managers take the lead – and appoint at least one individual to help colleagues with any queries or problems as they learn to use the new tools.

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Topics: collaboration tools, stakeholder engagement