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Types of Collaboration Technology

Collaboration software is technology designed to facilitate group work, allowing for better communication, collaboration and cooperation among and between coworkers. While this may seem like a simple branch of technological tools, collaboration technology comes in many forms, each of which offers unique capabilities and benefits.

We’ve outlined some of the essential types of collaboration technology to help you determine which collaboration tools can help your business’ groups succeed.

Categories of Collaboration Tools

Collaboration software technologies are categorized according to two dimensions of operation: when and where collaborators are working. With regards to location, collaboration tools are organized into either collocated or non-colocated technologies, where users are working at the same or different places. In this age of connectivity, this dimension isn’t quite as essential a category. Time, on the other hand, is much more prominent.

In this area, collaboration tools are organized into synchronous and asynchronous groups, where users are working at the same time or at different times, respectively. These categories are explained further below:

  • Synchronous: Synchronous collaboration software programs operate in real-time to allow groups of people to communicate and collaborate, regardless of their location. Examples of this include shared documents or whiteboards, video communication systems and chat systems, to name a few.
  • Asynchronous: Asynchronous collaboration software programs operate as a communication system that doesn’t rely on real-time. The most prominent of these communication systems is email, which allows people to forward, file and respond to messages for more long-term projects. Mailing lists, workflow systems and group calendars are also considered asynchronous since they don’t need to be used in real-time to be beneficial.

Now that these two categories are defined in more concrete terms, we can discuss the primary types of collaboration tools in more detail.

Types of Collaboration Tools

There are three common types of collaboration tools, each with its own purpose and benefits:

  • Communication Tools: Communication tools convey messages back and forth between individuals, facilitating dialogue. Email is a typical example of this, but instant messaging and chat are even more pertinent in the modern business world.
  • Conferencing Tools: Conferencing tools allow project members to see a unified view screen, either working all together at the same time or letting a single presenter control the screen while others provide input.
  • Coordination Tools: These tools are designed to manage groups, coordinating people to help manage large complex tasks more efficiently.

Depending on your organization’s goals, one of these collaboration tool types may be more beneficial than the others. If you need help determining which will work best for your business, consult with Consolidated Technologies, Inc.

Learn More About Collaboration Technology From Consolidated Technologies, Inc.

If you’re interested improving collaboration in your business, Consolidated Technologies, Inc. can create a custom communication solution for you, combining the most important communication tools that your business needs. We have years of experience helping businesses like yours determine the best solutions to improve your efficiency and profitability. Contact us today to learn more!