3 Keys for Cost-Effective Collaboration


04/17/2019

3 keys for cost effective collaboration

Enterprise email reigns supreme. As noted by HR Dive, 95 percent of organizations still use email as their primary communications tool, creating a default collaboration environment that relies on the dual tracks of corporate email accounts and per-seat productivity applications.

The challenge? This isn’t cheap. From the obvious costs of renting a seat at the SaaS table to dealing with email compliance and security breaches, current collaboration processes can both strain budgets and frustrate boardrooms. Let’s break down three key scenarios and solutions for cost-effective collaboration.
 


 

Take a Seat

What does collaboration really cost? If you’re considering traditional productivity apps such as Microsoft Office or AutoCad, you pay by the seat. Integrated document viewers and editors can often cut down on high licensing costs. For many companies, spending thousands to have entire departments trained doesn't offer the same utility of viewing, collaboration, and editing on-demand.

Also problematic? These apps exist outside other workflows such as email or in-house software solutions, meaning lost productivity every time employees need to switch programs or open new apps. As noted by Business 2 Community, this is especially problematic for the emerging Gen Z workforce. These “digital natives” expect collaboration tools that empower constant feedback, recognition, and encourage self-starter problem solving.

Evolving APIs can help solve by-the-seat challenges by allowing enterprises to easily integrate document viewing, editing, and collaboration across their own websites or applications with no seat spending required.
 


 

What You See and What You Get

Collaboration is a blessing and a curse. Consider the document workflow using email. Managers must modify original documents and send them to all collaborating employees, creating confusion about who needs to do what and who has final say in the document lifecycle. If original documents are permanently altered or lost the recovery costs could be substantial.

Moving to app-based collaboration tools improves the document management through-line but highlights the problem of digital rights management (DRM). Who has permission to view documents? How is markup tracked? What information is available or redacted? In many cases, executives need to sign or approve files but don’t need the authority to make more substantial changes. In others, C-suite members want to keep track of project status or track revenue generation but don’t need full access to files.

Collaboration APIs that empower viewing, annotation, redaction, eSignatures, and document comparison can help drive improved productivity without increasing cost.
 


 

Shared Documents, Shared Risk?

According to the Digital Workplace Group, lack of training is one of the top five enemies of effective collaboration. Why? Because complex tools often push staff to opt for simple solutions such as sending private or sensitive documents via email or social networks.

Here, the cost of document management takes two forms. First are advanced training courses in solutions such as Office, Excel, or AutoCad, which often cost upwards of $1,000 per person. More concerning are potential compliance violations if employees accidentally share private or protected information. Consider GDPR, which governs the data privacy of anyone living or working in the European Union. If companies don't have the ability to easily redact sensitive information and limit document sharing access, it's possible to escalate minor fines to more serious data-handling sanctions.

A better alternative? Streamlining document workflow and collaboration with integrated API solutions that work within existing apps, allow granular permission setting and reduce the security risk of shared documents.
 


 

Managing the Costs of Collaboration

Collaboration is now the expectation — but often presents cost challenges across per-seat expenses, digital rights management, and staff training. Accusoft’s PrizmDoc Suite leverages powerful APIs to deliver in-app document management that both increases staff efficiency and reduces total spend.

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