Before the digital age, most companies and organizations used physical collaboration tools such as a white board or a physical mind map to collaborate. Even though these tools prove to be useful for in-person meetings, they are difficult to reproduce, save, or distribute.
As organizations started using the digital environment as their main communication and collaboration space, the need for a service to combine tools like instant messaging and file sharing became imperative.
Responding to this demand, companies like Google, Microsoft and Slack made it possible to use multiple applications in one place. The benefits to an organization properly using one of these platforms is significant.
Tools like file sharing can help with file organization, as it allows teams to create and store multiple versions of a document and even collaborate in real time. Instant messaging can help teams communicate more quickly, stay connected, and save important conversations without having to deal with email inboxes. By combining these tools and many more, an organization can see benefits that include higher productivity, less interruption of work, reduced data duplication, more consistent user experience, and richer context for better decisions. With recent studies showing that collaboration is a key-factor to a company’s success, it is easy to see why more and more organizations are operating on Slack, Microsoft, Google or other alternative platforms.
Despite all the benefits, managing all these files and conversations online raises security concerns. The companies that offer these services, like Google and Slack, do not offer end-to-end encryption with their instant messaging apps, but they do make sure that your data is encrypted locally on your device and in their servers. Microsoft and some others offer end-to-end encryption, meaning that only the messenger and the recipient can read the messages. Like everything else online, choosing to manage your files and messages online comes with risks. However, with diligent research and proper protocol for use, the benefits of using such platforms seem to outweigh the risks.