- Collaboration tool use in the enterprise has grown 44% since 2019, according to Gartner data published Wednesday. The firm consulted 10,080 full-time employees at companies with 100 workers or more.
- Just one-third of enterprise meetings took place in-person in 2021, down from 63% in 2019, driven in part by stay-at-home orders and the rise of collaboration tools. In the next three years, just one-quarter of enterprise meetings will take place in-person, Gartner predicts.
- Use of real-time mobile messaging tools and storage and sharing solutions also rose in the past three years, while adoption of training and personal development tools remained unchanged.
Collaboration tool use is now the norm for most enterprises. Beyond chat applications, integrations and features have added complexity to the platforms and ingrained them into company systems.
For technology executives, increased adoption moved collaboration solutions to a more central location in the tech stack. Longer term, the technology will demand more coordination with the rest of IT management.
"As these applications become more interwoven and interoperable, there's going to be, at the very least, the need for some kind of cross-functional team to help ensure that governance and administration is done in concert with other parts of the business," said Christopher Trueman, principal research analyst at Gartner.
Enterprise tool choice can influence operations. From security to transformation, a company's ability to collaborate impacts performance.
The fact that applications such as collaboration or email are mostly cloud-based has shifted the way those applications are managed, according to Naveen Chhabra, senior analyst at Forrester.
"It doesn't mean [companies] don't need to manage those applications," Chhabra told CIO Dive in July. "It's just that how they were managing it earlier has changed" to a more self-sustained, automation-driven way of working.
But given the need for additional IT support, some vendors have begun training admins focused on managing their platform. Slack, for example, started a certification program in July 2020 and has so far certified more than 500 Slack administrators.
If organizations adhere to the model of having platform-specific IT specialists, in the future, those types of professionals "will be working a lot closer with their colleagues who are in charge of other services than they were in the past," said Trueman.