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How to Evaluate Remote Collaboration Tools

Most hardware stores carry an array of tools for a variety of tasks. Some, though, are better than others in terms of quality and functionality. It’s the same way with digital collaboration tools for remote work, only choosing the right ones is far more complicated. That’s why it’s crucial to establish an evaluation process.

Here are some basic guidelines to follow as you shop around.

  1. Identify Pain Points: Why do you need new collaboration tools? In addition to figuring out which pain points need addressing, audit your current tools to determine what’s helping and what’s hurting. Keep the former, lose the latter.
  2. Ease of Adoption: Since optimal productivity is the ultimate goal here, any new tools should be intuitive, easy to learn with minimal training and compatible with existing software. Free trials are often available so you can try before you buy. Keep in mind who’ll use each tool and how.
  3. Use Case(s): Do you frequently use video and chat to communicate? What about embedded apps like whiteboards and spreadsheets for presentations and brainstorming? Knowing how your team works and what they need to make their work easier is key. And make sure that whichever tools you choose can grow, in both scale and functionality, as your business grows.
  4. Infrastructure Support and Software Compatibility: Make sure your organization has the IT infrastructure and software in place to support and integrate these new tools before you adopt them. Remote infrastructure management (RIM) can help you maintain an optimal IT environment post-implementation.
  5. Compile Your Findings: Once you’ve gathered enough information about the tools that are best-suited to your team’s work, create a spreadsheet that contains details about functions and pricing as well as advantages and disadvantages. Then present your findings to key stakeholders.
  6. Make a Recommendation: Taking into account features, functionality, cost and user feedback, choose the tools that fit your current needs as well as your budget.

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