Collaboration tools for activities like videoconferencing, file sharing, project management and more have taken center stage at many companies due to a rise in remote work.
At the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic, some companies might have used whatever platforms were easily available and could help maintain productivity. Yet as companies look to enable remote work on a long-term basis — whether that’s due to continued health risks or to provide more flexibility to employees — it’s important to find the best collaboration tools for small businesses based on factors including:
● Security: Many collaboration platforms lack sufficient security protocols like end-to-end encryption. As such, cybercriminals might be able to access sensitive files or other confidential information as it’s transmitted between the cloud and employees’ devices.
That’s why one of the best collaboration tools for small businesses is Cisco Webex Teams, as the platform can enable end-to-end encryption in many cases when transmitting data, while enabling teams to productively collaborate through shared files. In addition, the platform allows for secure video calls, using the Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol (SRTP).
● Functionality: In addition to security, the best collaboration tools for small businesses provide simple, practical functionality that works for your company. You don’t want to create additional challenges by using overly complex tools that have such a steep learning curve that they hamper collaboration.
Instead, think about how you can leverage some of the best collaboration tools for small businesses like Smartsheet for keeping track of projects (keeping in mind that any platform should meet your security standards). You can then often integrate collaboration platforms with one another, like connecting Smartsheet with Webex Teams so employees can stay on top of updates to current projects.
In contrast, using a tool that has limited integrations with other platforms can hamper the overall functionality of the platform, and your employees might end up using workarounds that create security risks.
● Reliability: The best collaboration tools for small businesses also need to be reliable. You don’t want to get hooked onto a platform that experiences frequent outages or adopt a tool from a company that has less of a proven track record.
That’s why, even though video conferencing platforms like Webex Meetings might not necessarily be as in-vogue as some newer solutions, we believe Cisco’s history of providing reliable, secure software makes it the better option for small businesses looking for the best collaboration tools.
Plus, having a history of reliability ties into being able to stay ahead of security threats and push out updates to the software as needed.
Focusing on these three areas can help you find the best collaboration tools for small businesses. You don’t necessarily need to add multiple new platforms to enable remote work, but having a few secure, functional and reliable tools can go a long way toward improving productivity.
Learn more about the risks non-secure collaboration tools can pose to small businesses. Download our new guide to help your organization stay safe.