Guest Column | November 20, 2019

Building Software With Collaboration At Its Core

By Michael Wright, RedTeam Software

450x300_social collaboration

The need for enterprise software is increasing at a steady pace, with worldwide spending exceeding $326 billion, according to a report by Statista. Although adaptation is on a continued growth path, many platforms are focusing on creating disruptive technology rather than emphasizing the very human need for collaboration.

If we could complete projects on our own, we wouldn’t need to put such a heavy focus on collaboration, but the reality is that no one can be as successful going solo. Many developers, and subsequent adopters, make the mistake of trying to build a collaborative environment around existing software. But it should be the other way around - platforms should be built with collaboration at their core.

On a day-to-day basis, businesses are bombarded by claims of revolutionary change from enterprise software salespeople. However, revolutionary change is not always what they want or need – companies may simply want an easier way to complete a standard procedure and solve recurring issues without the need for additional bells and whistles. With most apps built for a very specific audience to address the work they do every day, developers can’t cut corners when it comes to knowing the industry and how parties work together.

For example, in construction, collaboration is critical to effective project management. Multiple parties are required to come to agreements on items such as dates, budgets, changes and timelines. Design teams, owners, builders, subcontractors and the general contractor all must complete their own tasks while still keeping track of who did what and when they did it. Software in this industry is virtually unusable without collaboration stitched into every stage.

It is also incredibly important that software companies understand their own internal offerings and pain points before presenting themselves as a solution or seeking out the answer to an unknown problem. Prior to placing a platform on the market, developers must build from within. By investing significant time and resources into understanding their offerings, market and key selling points, they can create a platform that serves as a solution to a market’s current problems.

Enterprise software that not only allows for, but encourages, collaboration can serve as both a tool for recruiting and a tool for maintaining workplace efficiency.

Attract A Younger Workforce 

By designing software around collaboration, developers are already at an adoption advantage. Companies want tools that can help recruit young, innovative workers and help them do their jobs effectively.

Millennials make up more than one out of every three people in the U.S. workforce, and they’re not the fresh-faced bunch they were five to 10 years ago. Today they are skilled, eager and will turn down jobs that don’t equip them with the right technology to succeed. Even now, some businesses are still using Excel sheets or even physical record-keeping for project management. However, they are now looking for workers to make their processes more efficient, but they need the right technology to do it.

Millennials – and even Gen Z – want to know that the enterprise technology they are using is secure, fast and effective. It’s why technologies such as Slack and have become so successful. The modern workforce doesn’t just benefit from collaboration; it requires it.

Reduce Workplace Problems

Collaborative software may not be able to generate a perfect worksite, but it can cut down on the problems that arise due to inadequate or poor communication tools. In fact, according to Salesforce, 86 percent of business owners and employees attribute problems in the workplace to inefficient communication tools.

Even beyond the day-to-day frustration of poor communication, collaborative software can help companies avoid the settlement table as well. Lack of proper documentation can easily snowball into a “he-said, she-said” situation in the event of litigation, which is a drain on time, money and productivity for companies. Software that requires communication and task management from all parties can mitigate this process before it has the chance to deplete resources.

Overall, we are at a turning point in software development. We need to stop thinking about what we think can be done in the future and start focusing on what can actually happen today. The best way to position software for adoption is to create a platform that people can realistically use to solve multiple problems on a day-to-day basis. Beyond that, it must foster the collaboration we now know to be so crucial to the success, livelihood and longevity of a business.

About The Author

Michael Wright is CEO of RedTeam Software. With a background as a commercial general contractor with hands-on experience in all aspects of commercial construction, Wright developed RedTeam as a comprehensive cloud-based solution for construction project and accounting management built for contractors by contractors.