Since the advent of the wheel, humans have always sought to simplify their efforts through the use of better tools. With simple tools, it is easy to discern how they work, how they add value. Hit a nail with a hammer, the nail is firmly secured. The hammer performed a helpful task. Assessing the effectiveness of technological tools versus simple mechanisms like hammers and drills, however, can be extremely difficult. Yet IT directors and business-line representatives are asked to gauge the value of potential technologies to improve their organization’s efforts all the time.
We recently shared a Forrester Research report assessing the ability G Suite (view an overview of Apps here) to provide value for organizations. The results were compelling to say the least:
(You can download the full report here.)
Some additional Forrester findings about G Suite:
- Increased Collaboration: Efficiency resulted in $8 million in savings
- Improved Mobility: Accessing files on any device, from any location reduced travel costs by $5.3 million
- Lowered IT Costs: Cloud-based processing trimmed legacy IT costs by $502,979
- Lowered Telephony Systems Costs: New telephony system drove a $3.1 million savings in legacy telephony systems and conferencing solutions
However, again, without the ability to understand how a tool works, its results can lose impact. Google Apps allow users to collaborate, and access and edit files—so how does that specifically equate into triple-digit ROI? Here are some theories.
Cloud-Based Access and Collaboration
Google Apps exist in the cloud. Document access is no longer limited by location or device. Collaboration can happen simultaneously, in real-time, on a single document. This eliminates issues like sorting through multiple drafts edited by numerous parties, making sense of inconsistent naming conventions, or requiring a VPN to access documents from offsite.
The productivity compounds itself. Think of your key stakeholders—how often are they offsite or working odd hours at home? Imagine one team member reviewing a document from their phone, tablet, or laptop with the click of one link. Their comments alert the next team member that an action item is waiting. This next stakeholder can jump in, make a quick edit, and mark the item resolved. Simplifying each individual stakeholder’s involvement to jump in and review files speeds the process of confidently, continually moving projects forward.
G Suite are intuitive. The interfaces are clean and the user experience of navigating across and within apps is a simple one. This nimble experience can dramatically reduce the learning curve for each employee, allowing team members to begin being productive within the tools much sooner. Logistically, the minutes team members don’t spend trying to navigate the technology add up to valuable productive hours.
Streamlined User Adoption
Piggybacking on the point above, when a tool is easy to use, it takes very little time to get people to use it. Google Docs, Sheets and Slides act like familiar tools, with the added benefit of cloud-based, simultaneous collaboration. Their functionality is intuitive enough that users won’t shy away from using them, diminishing the challenge of staggered or sluggish user adoption. Hangouts offer a similar experience. Want to initiate a video conference? Open your Calendar, double-click on a time to begin scheduling a meeting and click “include video link”. Gone is the formality and lengthy (humbling) procedure of scheduling meetings in dedicated conferencing solutions like Webex or GotoMeeting. Want to join a Hangout? Simply click the link someone has shared with you. No passwords (unless someone wants them). No dial-in nine-digit code.
Collaboration- and Mobility-Focused
In business, it often takes a village to create great projects. The simplified design of Google Apps encourage collaboration free from technological friction. Google Docs display an option to quickly share a link to the document right within the Doc itself. It only takes a second to invite your team to weigh in on your project, or to jump into someone else’s shared files.
From a mobility standpoint, the suite of G Suite are available as individual apps for iOS and Android phones and tablets, as well as from Mac and PC desktops and laptops. So, should someone from your team somehow want to edit a document from a beach in Ibiza, they actually can.