Posted by Computerworld on March 11, 2019:

Collaboration in the enterprise is nothing new, but the myriad tools available to organizations today, from simple chat apps to full-blown project-management platforms, are creating new opportunities and challenges for IT leaders and end users alike. Unfortunately, the abundance of collaboration software has led many workers to feel a sense of app overload, with ever more tools requiring constant monitoring and input.

If you think email is bad, try navigating a complex web of notifications and workflows across a handful of disparate apps, each of which carries its own strengths and limitations.

Many of these tools originate with small teams, growing organically across groups and departments — and sometimes duplicating or overlapping with tools used by other groups. As the number of collaboration tools proliferates across organizations, CIOs are trying to regain control by rolling out one or a few tools companywide, without interfering with viable, effective workflows.

That often involves making tough decisions, says Michael Cantor, CIO at Park Place Technologies, which provides data center hardware maintenance services. “A CIO will likely end up with multiple tools and will have to be strategic in identifying the best one for their organization, even if it means forcing evaluations and stopping the use” of some tools, he says.

Make detailed end-user-centric plans for adoption

Thinking about adoption early in the planning process is key, says Joe Berger, practice director at IT consultancy World Wide Technology.

“As you’re in the planning phases of looking at a new technology or rolling something out, make sure that there’s either budget included in there for an adoption campaign or methodology to make sure it’s considered as part of the deployment cycle and success,” he says.

Adoption plans for team collaboration tools are imperative because, unlike back-end systems such as data centers or storage, collaboration is so end-user-specific, Berger adds. “It’s critical to make sure the end user understands why they’re doing this and how it’s going to benefit them.”

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