Research Data: Employee Adoption of Collaboration Tools

Last week I had the honor of speaking at the Evanta Global CIO Executive Summit and toward the end of the speech casually mentioned that I’d be releasing this report on Monday. Afterwards, many of the CIOs expressed deep interest in the data, sharing that this is one of their top priorities through the end of 2018 and into 2019. So I’m excited to share the report!

Report Summary

For many of us, the default way we collaborate with each other in the workplace is email. Yes, that tried and true, reverse chronological stream of messages that rules our lives. There are innumerable ways that email is terrible for group collaboration, primarily the fact that multiple messages between a team of people are hard to follow and track over a period. To solve these issues, enterprises now deploy a wide variety of collaboration software, which ranges in complexity from simple chat interfaces to full-fledged project management platforms that integrate with multiple parts of the business.

To better understand the adoption and use of these tools, Altimeter surveyed 2,000 employees in the United States on their individual use of six types of enterprise collaboration tools in Q1 2018.

Key Findings

We uncovered these four key findings, which you can read about in the report:

  1. Work adoption emulates personal adoption of technologies
  2. Age isn’t a significant factor in adoption
  3. While most leaders use collaboration tools, the crucial middle manager lags behind
  4. Collaboration adoption rates vary significantly by industry

Here’s one of my favorite data charts from the report: it shows how age is a driver of adoption. While age does make a difference, it’s not as significant as many would think.

Actionable Strategies

In addition to the findings of our survey, the full report offers actionable strategies to drive adoption of these tools among your employees. Here’s a quick summary of those strategies:

  • Leverage existing communication habits.
  • Focus on how relationships will change with collaboration, rather than the technology.
  • Make middle managers the keystone of your adoption efforts.
  • Integrate other well-used enterprise collaboration tools into new ones.
  • Identify peer mentors.
  • Staff teams and projects based on enterprise collaboration adoption.

Below is a preview version. If you’d like to read the entire report, please follow this link to download it. I’d love to hear from you in the comments about your employee collaboration journey — how it’s going, your challenges, and your triumphs. We would all benefit learning from our experience.