Instant messaging doesn't rule the collaborative software roost

Employee pondering at laptop

Some fresh research into how companies collaborate has revealed a number of interesting findings, particularly when it comes to what tools businesses actually use for collaboration – instant messaging apps do not rule the roost, in fact far from it.

Bitrix24 has just published its Collaboration Trends 2016 report, which surveyed around 1,300 companies in total, and found that unsurprisingly the IT industry was the biggest user of collaborative software with 28% of respondents.

Consulting firms were next, but considerably behind on 16%, followed by marketing and advertising companies on 12%, and then telecoms was tied with manufacturing for fourth place on 6%.

The research found that collaboration tools are generally used by small teams, defined as those containing from 2 to 10 people, with these representing 55% of respondents. Larger teams of 11 to 300 people accounted for 30%, and big teams of 100 to 500 only hit 6%.

Remote workers

As for remote working, of those organisations which use collaboration tools, the vast majority (90%) have at least one staff member working remotely, and 11% of firms said they have between 11 and 100 employees remote working. Obviously, collaborative software is a key point for these businesses.

Almost all respondents indicated that they're fairly new to the collaborative solution they use, and 97% said they've only been using the software for two years or less (with 85% having used their software for less than a year).

As you'd expect, price was found to be an important factor when it came to choosing a collaboration tool, with 31% saying they made their selection because it was free, and 11% saying they went with their particular product of choice because it was affordably priced.

As for the most popular primary collaboration tools used, as we mentioned previously these weren't instant messages and video calls which stood at 7%. They were eclipsed by the likes of shared online calendars (10%), CRM systems (15%), and tasks and projects (18%).

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).