Research: Video conferencing tools and cloud-based solutions dominate digital workspaces; VPN and VDI less popular with SMBs

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  • Provided by TechRepublic Premium
  • Published March 22, 2021
  • Topic TechRepublic Premium
  • Format PDF

Using digital tools is nothing new for enterprises. However, the amount of different digital technologies businesses have implemented due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many employees to work remotely, surpassed what was initially budgeted for, and often was procured at the expense of other projects targeted for 2020.

Which collaboration platform-tools do enterprises use most? TechRepublic Premium surveyed 161 professionals to find out. The survey asked questions about digital tool adoption, how such tools are being used, plans for additional collaboration platform-tools and more.

More specifically, the survey asked the following questions:

  • What types of collaboration platform-tools does your business currently use?
  • Why isn’t your business currently using or planning to use any collaboration platform-tools?
  • What additional collaboration platform-tools does your business plan to adopt in the next six to 12 months?
  • Why isn’t your business planning to use any additional collaboration platform-tools in the next six to 12 months?
  • How is your business using collaboration platform-tools?
  • Which video conferencing tools does your company currently use or plan to use in the next six to 12 months?
  • What cloud-based office suite for collaboration does your company currently use or plan to use in the next six to 12 months?
  • What VPN tools does your company currently use or plan to use in the next six to 12 months?
  • What cloud storage does your company currently use or plan to use in the next six to 12 months?
  • What private cloud solution does your company currently use or plan to use in the next six to 12 months?
  • What team communication tools (not including video conferencing tools) does your company currently use or plan to use in the next six to 12 months?
  • What project management tools does your company currently use or plan to use in the next six to 12 months?
  • What team management tools does your company currently use or plan to use in the next six to 12 months?
  • What virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) does your company currently use or plan to use in the next six to 12 months?

Video conferencing and cloud-based collaboration tools were already being adopted by companies over the past few years. In 2020, video conferencing tools moved from nice-to-have to must-have. Tools such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams dominated the list of top collaboration platform-tools businesses currently use, according to 95% of survey respondents. At 75%, cloud-based storage services such as Dropbox or OneDrive ranked as a popular choice for respondents. Cloud collaboration platforms such as Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 rounded out the tops three list of collaboration platform-tools, at 73%.

It should come to no surprise that respondents use collaboration platform-tools for connecting remote workers (91%), enabling better communication between co-workers, departments and managers (84%), and for team management (61%), and both project management and staff training and education (54%). Less popular uses for these digital tools included managerial training and education (31%), HR resources (20%) and employee tracking (17%). The two most popular video conferencing tools according to respondents: Microsoft Teams (73%) and Zoom (63%). Fewer respondents reported using CiscoWebEx (21%), Google Hangouts (16%) and Skype Meet Now (11%).

As cloud-based office suites go, almost three-fourths of respondents choose Microsoft365 (73%) as their top choice. Google Workspace was the pick for 20% of respondents. In terms of cloud storage, OneDrive took the top position at 67%. Much lower in the rankings came Google Drive (33%) and even further down was Dropbox (22%).

The number one factor preventing survey respondents from currently using or planning to use any collaboration platform-tools: Cost. In fact, 100% of all respondents said that the cost of digital collaboration technology impacted how quickly they could add digital collaboration tools.

To read all of the survey results, plus analysis, download the full research report.

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