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Can Small Companies Benefit from Collaboration?


Posted by on March 1, 2012

Many of the examples and case studies we are seeing today around emergent collaboration involve companies with thousands of employees around the world.  But, this doesn’t mean emergent collaboration tools and strategies are only for the enterprise.  In fact, nothing could be father from the truth.  Collaboration can benefit any company of any size.  Chess Media Group is much smaller than many of the companies we work with and write about yet we use many of the same tools that larger companies do.  FSG – Social Impact Consultants was a company that we profiled recently in our case study series and they only have around 80 employees; far from the thousands of employees that a Dell, IBM, or Boeing has.

Let’s think about this.  Even if your company has 5 people isn’t it sill important that you can all easily access information when you need it from any device?  Don’t you still have to develop documents which need to be shared and collaborated on with your team or perhaps clients or consultants that are helping you on a project?  Don’t you still want your team members to be engaged with the company and the work they do (meaning they love their job)?  Isn’t managing your projects and tasks still important and don’t you want to do it in a way that your team has insights into what everyone else is doing?

While some of the applications within the enterprise might be different (for example the ability to find subject matter experts) the benefits are just as strong for small companies as they are for large companies.  Building a collaborative organization supported by emergent tools and technologies is not limited by the size of an organization.  In fact many vendors that offer these tools have packages that also cater to smaller organizations as well.

Don’t let all the case studies and discussions around enterprise collaboration fool you into thinking that it can’t benefit a small business, it can.

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  • http://twitter.com/theoreichgelt Theo

    Indeed Jacob, you are so right. We see many smaller organisations benefit from ESM solutions. I believe this is where tools like Yammer are very interesting. Easy to use and adapt, yet powerful functionality.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      Thanks for the comment Theo.  Yammer is one of the many tools out there that can help organizations of all shapes and sizes.  With their recent funding announcement it will be interesting to see what happens!

  • http://300.mg MarkK

    Cant agree more…but important that small teams might need slightly different collaboration tool as they have different problems.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for the comment, sure smaller businesses may need different tools or different features but today that’s not hard to come by!

  • Wade C

    Small businesses also require security and control of their IP probably more so than the big guys as the cost to litigate it so onerous.

    • http://www.thefutureorganization.com jacobmorgan

      Hi Wade,

      Yes, absolutely, of course the security concerns are not as stringent but still an necessity.  The good thing is that many of the vendors out there which offer products to small businesses also have great security.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • http://callboxinc.com/ Judy Caroll

    Of course;) Collaboration will make it even easier for these small businesses to accomplish their goals.  

  • Andrew

    very interesting thanks for the information.