With many employees working from home now, video apps such as Zoom, Google Hangout and Microsoft Teams have become essential communications tools to all businesses. So have purely messaging tools such as Slack and Jostle, Groupe.io and Asana with many more out there and the list growing. These are more than just messaging apps though, some are team collaboration platforms such as Slack and Teams, while others are apps that may connect to other tools and services but may not have video capabilities. Either way, it’s more than likely your company uses more than one of these tools.

This can create a number of problems within the organisation such as;

  • Confusion between departments and teams as to which app is the primary one for people to use. 
  • Some teams or people may not have access to some of these tools and it can cause friction in the workplace when people feel excluded.
  • With multiple apps, a lot of information is created and so it can make curating and organising information much more difficult. The results can be detrimental to building or managing a Knowledge Base, thus impacting turning knowledge into decision making.
  • Multiple apps can mean information isn’t properly moved into dashboards and Business Intelligence tools, which of course hurts decision making.
  • If the company is paying for multiple apps, this can become costly to the organisation
  • Using multiple collaboration and messaging apps also expands your threat surface and significantly increases the risk of being hacked.
  • The more apps there are, the greater the chances of confidential corporate information ending up in the hands of competitors, foreign State actors and out on the open Web.

For small to medium sized businesses, it’s important to find out what apps are being used and why. There should be a business case made for each of these apps. It may be that the company just needs one app, such as Microsoft Teams or Slack. It’s important to note that Slack is in itself almost like a social media app like Facebook where it is easy for company information to end up outside the organisation.

Organisations should try their best to use as few collaboration / communications apps as possible. It makes finding and working with information much easier, reduces the threat surface, keeps costs under control and makes it easier on employees. An audit isn’t hard and doesn’t have to take long either.

Giles Crouch is a Chief Information Officer (CIO) and digital anthropologist. He uniquely ties his deep knowledge of technology, marketing, design thinking and digital anthropology and as a polymath he helps clients seeking digital advantage in today’s complex world. Giles' initial years in business were in marketing communications in the technology sector. He also co-founded the Ice Awards for creative in advertising in Atlantic Canada. Giles has been regularly interviewed by international news media on topics such as social media, blockchain, artificial intelligence and their impacts on society. He is a passionate practitioner of design thinking and digital anthropology (netnography). Giles is prolific writer and public speaker, lecturer and keynote. He has also completed over 300 netnographic research projects since 2009. His secondary engagement is as Group Publisher with HUM@NMedia Inc., a Canadian health and wellness focused media company.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: