Home Business Why mid-market organisations need a unified collaboration platform

Why mid-market organisations need a unified collaboration platform

by Mybizpress
6 minutes read

Middle-market companies are critical to the overall growth of any economy. Unfortunately, they tend to get overlooked. Startups are able to leverage tax exemptions and subsidy schemes owing to their future potential, while large enterprises enjoy profits, economic significance, and strong cash reserves. Mid-market companies miss out on all of this. This segment also faces unique challenges, one of which is scaling. These companies are typically ramping up on all fronts—operations, geographic presence, talent, and digital transformation efforts—so scaling the right way is crucial for them to achieve a substantial impact.

A recent study conducted by World Wide Worx, in collaboration with Zoho, interviewed over 400 employees from South African firms of various sizesabout productivity and collaboration challenges. The data brought to light some scaling issues faced by mid-market firms (501-1,000 employees). 

1) Greater obstacles to communication

The study found that members of firms with 201-500 or 501-1,000 employees experienced more difficulty communicating and collaborating within their teams, as well as with other teams, managers, and senior leadership. Ease of communication was highest for firms with fewer than 200 employees, which is natural, as employees in these firms are more likely to know each other and even use B2C communication tools. 

For employees in larger firms (over 1,000 employees), communication was easier within the team, with other teams, and even with managers, but remaineddifficult with senior leadership. This is likely due to organisational hierarchies being more pronounced. Large organisations often use enterprise communication and collaboration tools, which ease communication challenges. Scalable, value-driven collaboration platforms can likely provide a solution to mid-market companies looking to enjoy the same enhanced communication experienced at large enterprises. 

Last year, some of the most popular digital collaboration brands increased prices or removed free plans from their offerings, rendering their tools unaffordable to businesses, especially mid-market organisations poised to scale. This is why organisations need to be careful when selecting a vendor, and choose one that can help them scale without exorbitant fees. 

2) Lack of a unified task view and barriers to essential data 

More than 66% of respondents working in organisations with fewer than 500 employees, or more than 1,000 employees, said they had a unified view of their tasks. However, only 48% of employees from the mid-market segment reported a unified view. Moreover, employees in firms with fewer than 200 or more than 1,000 employees reported finding it extremely easy to access information they need to get work done. The ease, however, decreases for employees in firms with 201-1,000 employees. Both these issues most likely arise due to data silos that become a greater challenge as companies scale, and as cross-functional collaboration becomes a necessity. 

Data silos emerge due to the use of multiple applications that do not integrate smoothly. Smaller organisations are able to get around silos because, by virtue of their size, collaboration becomes easier. Meanwhile, larger organisations have correspondingly larger IT budgets and can pay for integrations or enterprise software that allows for a unified experience. This leaves mid-market firms to grapple with a lack of a unified view of work tasks and the employees struggle to gain access to data they need to get work done, creating significant productivity challenges. A unified collaboration platform addresses both these challenges. 

3) Competitive disadvantages 

When asked about factors causing competitive disadvantages, the top response for most employees was “None.” Mid-market employees presented an exception. They listed the following three causes of competitive disadvantage: low adoption of digital tools, lack of a unified dashboard to view all their activities, and the need to switch between too many apps. 

Utilising a unified collaboration platform, and integrating it with other business apps, can help pull tasks into a single app and eliminate the necessity of switching between too many apps. The communication app can potentially become the front-end app for employees as apps like Zoho Cliq, can pull reports and key activities from other Zoho or third-party apps, and action can be performed from within the Cliq interface. This removes the need for logging into different systems. The ease of use from a user-friendly UI, on the other hand, can help push digital adoption. 

Collating communications through a single interface

By implementing a unified collaboration strategy, organisations can integrate all communication tools, such as voice calls, instant messaging, online video conferencing, file sharing, and more, with other business applications for better collaboration among employees. 

This enables seamless, secure, and real-time collaboration between teams and departments and with managers and senior leadership. It also helps streamline tasks, improve communication, and enhance productivity. This will ultimately lead to greater adaptability and resilience for mid-market organisations.

It’s well established that improved inter-organisational collaboration is a powerful tool that helps both small and medium-sized organisations scale and grow. And just as agility champions collaboration, collaboration also champions agility. It is extremely valuable for any organisation to be able to adapt quickly, especially in today’s fast-paced, uncertain, and increasingly digital world.


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