An office worker sitting on a beach with her desk and laptop in front of her - content collaboration platform concept

According to Gartner, the content collaboration platform (CCP) market covers a range of products and services that enable content productivity and collaboration. CCPs are aimed at individuals and teams, inside or outside an organization. A workplace consists of a holistic set of platforms, tools and environments for work delivered in a usable, coherent and productive way. Digital workplace platforms tie all these together.

CCP Elements

Enabling secure ways for content sharing and collaboration with co-workers and colleagues, both inside and outside your organization, is critical to improving productivity and teamwork. Gartner's most recent content collaboration magic quadrant (subscription required) indicates that by 2022, 50% of midsize and large organizations in mature regional markets will use a content collaboration platform to implement document workflows and improve collaboration and productivity.

CCPs connect and empower people, enabling new productivity, collaboration and efficiency and can drive change in people's work styles and processes, help meet business priorities and grant security and compliance. Gartner said CCPs, which increasingly support lightweight content management and workflow use cases, are increasingly important for remote workers because they offer:

  • Mobile access to content repositories.
  • File synchronization across devices and cloud repositories.
  • File sharing with people and applications, inside or outside an organization.
  • Team collaboration, with dedicated folders.
  • A content repository (This can be cloud-based or on-premises, native to the CCP platform or based on other file servers or repositories).

Taking these workplace apps individually and out of the context of a CCP platform, many are challenging and even frustrating for workers trying to accomplish specific tasks. In addition, there is a disconnect between managerial perception of workplace apps and workers' perceptions, according to research from WalkMe. By opting for a CCP, enterprises can overcome many of these problems as they offer different levels of support for mobility, simplicity and usability, file manipulation, user productivity, collaboration, content management, workflow, analytics, security and data protection, data governance, administration and management, integration, and lastly, storage with some using a central data repository.

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Disconnect With Disconnected Apps

In Kissflow's Employee Experience Survey (not yet public), the company surveyed 352 leaders and 351 employees from organizations across all industries to get a better understanding of their day-to-day interactions with workplace software and the degree to which workplace software affects the overall employee experience. Key findings show that:

  • Leaders and employees have different opinions on how much workplace software is used. While most leaders believe their employees are using between 6 and 10 systems (41.9%), the majority of employees (60.1%) say they use just 1 to 5.
  • When it comes to usability, employees are far less satisfied with their software than leaders: Nearly one-third of leaders (28.2%) said they are “very satisfied” with the usability of their workplace software, compared to just 15% of employees.
  • Leaders are more likely than employees to believe that workplace technology empowers employees to do their jobs better: 42.1% of leaders compared to 27.9% of employees strongly agree with the statement, "The digital tools I use at work enable me to improve my productivity and fulfill my responsibilities."
  • Employees face obstacles to using workplace tech to their advantage: The biggest barriers to software usability, according to employees: Inadequate training (74.1%); complex and confusing interface (43.4%); lack of guided learning tools (34.1%).

Within the modern enterprise, enormous value is being created in a short time and, if it’s not managed and curated, through digital workplace focused platforms it can become quite chaotic, said Suresh Sambandam, the CEO of Kissflow, which specializes in business process and workflow management software and has just released a new digital workplace platform. “We can’t build enterprises as we did a decade or so ago, but the problem is, we’ve started working for the tools we’ve implemented, instead of the tools working for us. Each time a tab is switched, productivity goes down and some momentum is tossed away,” he said.

The result is that the greatest benefit a company can provide for its employees isn’t a colorful office or free food, but creating an environment where productive work happens and removes the obstacles of unwanted reporting so that the focus is on work getting done and not on the layers that brood biases and chaos.

“With a digital workplace, enterprises are providing a radically new experience so that working is easy and fun, and not a burden to fathom all the things that are going on in 6-7 different applications running as siloed tabs on people’s browsers.

Related Article: Don't Know Which Microsoft Collaboration Tool to Use? You're Not Alone

CCPS and Digital Workplace Platforms

If CCPs pull together teams in the enterprise, then digital workplace platforms connect and pull everything together, said Iain Scholnick founder and CEO of Braidio. He pointed out that a CCP can be incredibly useful for start-ups who are using small teams and work closely with external teams on a variety of projects. The CCP provides these teams the opportunity to communicate efficiently to complete the tasks and projects they are collaborating on. These platforms can keep small businesses organized and help them avoid workplace silos. "However, the world of work encompasses much more than just documents, ultimately all organizations should be aiming for digital workplace platforms to help scale, and for large organizations help all feel connected and productive," said Scholnick.

He added that with new integration and automation technologies becoming available, large-scale enterprises can have local teams closest to business outcomes communicate internally to complete projects. This freedom to work within an organization using these tools allows for productivity automation.

Enterprises should be changing existing structured workflows based on homegrown tools or legacy business systems that can’t deliver the cross-system connectivity, automation and scale that is needed in today’s world.

As collaboration, intelligence, automation and reporting become intertwined and embedded across the work lifecycle rather than existing as separate siloed capabilities in pure-play tools, new productivity automation practices will allow businesses to constantly refresh their workstreams, more flexibly manage resources and generate feedback loops.

Over time, businesses will intelligently model work streams allowing them to continuously execute in a truly liquid way, giving them the kind of responsiveness needed to succeed in the digital age. Those businesses adopting tools to work toward that outcome will gain a competitive advantage in the future of work

A CCP would be far more advantageous to an enterprise that is starting the digital transformation process and looking forward to pulling all enterprise technology together at a later stage. This software can provide a number of unique benefits including improved communication — integration of tools such as email and online chat systems avoids the need for constantly checking emails and updates, which can be unnecessarily tedious and time consuming.

Most CCP systems on the market are scalable and secure. In other words, they are designed to ensure full data protection and an uninterrupted service. This is guaranteed through regular backups, continuous testing and reliable support. As a final point, it should be noted that the software is accessible and affordable thereby serving the purposes of business of all sizes and budget equally.