Forrester Consulting, on behalf of Adobe, conducted independent, online surveys of 700 U.S.-based respondents and 3,000 European-based participants to understand more about collaborative work within their respective geographies. The studies, completed in September 2009 and December 2008, respectively, involved knowledge workers with full-time employment who have office productivity software tools, an Internet-connected computer and work in organizations of various sizes.
The surveys found that while collaboration is pervasive across both regions, nearly 70 percent of knowledge workers believe improvements are needed, with top benefits sought including the speed and efficiency of collaboration and an associated reduction of paperwork (each approximately two-thirds). On this and many key findings, workers in the United States and Europe found strong common ground.
"Building The Future of Collaboration", a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Adobe, stated that, "As collaboration grows in importance for knowledge work, the tools must embrace and refine current work habits, while also enabling a transition to more efficient and effective communication and collaboration. Enterprise IT must go beyond simply providing more collaboration solutions. Forrester's high-level recommendation is that enterprise IT must find the best way to support workers' current work habits while better leveraging emerging solutions that fit enterprise IT and knowledge worker needs and expectations." The research suggests several trends:
- Knowledge workers favor familiar collaborative tools--email and attachments--over newer alternatives, including wikis, blogs and social networks. At the same time, they recognize the limitations of traditional methods and seek changes to improve efficiency.
- Workers struggle with gathering information from others as part of day-to-day collaborative work. They collect the same pieces of information repeatedly and often by traditional means, such as telephone or email. But the inability to do so quickly and accurately results in frustration and inefficiency.
- The expectations for more compelling communications are rising, and current collaborative tools do not fully empower knowledge workers.
- Increased collaboration also means companies are more often exposing sensitive information. While organizations regularly invest in technology and define processes to secure data, the behavior and attitudes of workers are not in tune with enterprise IT security concerns.