Email Still Rules When It Comes To Collaboration

If you want to collaborate on a document for work, there are plenty of online options, with Google Apps and Office 365 perhaps the most prominent. But it seems that in Australian workspaces, the most common method remains somewhat more basic: emailing documents to one another.

Research firm Frost & Sullivan surveyed 162 local IT managers and decision makers for its 2011 Enterprise Social Media and Collaboration Report, and found that while most of those decision makers were aware of alternative options, that didn't mean they were widely used. To quote from the release announcing the report:

Despite the high awareness of the various collaboration solutions available, a majority of businesses are still reliant on email for document sharing. 46 percent of businesses use email to send and receive documents across teams. Only 17% of businesses currently use vendor applications such as SharePoint, Lotus Team Room or Google Docs.

We've noted before that large organisations are often slow to adopt new technology approaches, so this isn't exactly a surprising result. It also confirms one of our most strongly-held beliefs here at Lifehacker HQ: the emergence of new options doesn't mean the old options go away, it just makes choosing the right solution more complicated.


    What's a 'sensible' limit to the file size of an email you need to send to somebody for collaboration, if there is one?

    I shudder when I get a 16 mb email or indeed multiple 10 mb emails in rapid succession. But it's a regular thing to deal with.

    In our office we have Wintels and Macs, a Sharepoint intranet and our e-mail system is run in the GMail cloud. I would love to collaborate through Google Docs (well... Office Live or Office 365 would be better but we're on GDocs so whatever) but people just aren't ready for it yet.

      We're held back by privacy regulations. We need to be able to pull up a short list and say 'these are the locations client information is stored, with these security procedures.' We can't do that with docs or office 365, but they otherwise suit our business model.

    Have you guys seen Agilewords? It protects documents in multiple ways and it provides world class security for document collaboration.

      $20 per month per user, just for document collaboration? Learn about sharing folder in Dropbox (free).

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