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Disadvantages of Group Collaboration Software

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Collaboration software allows a business to share ideas and information among its staff and between teams across an organisation.

The practice offers crucial connectivity in an era in which SMEs can often rely heavily on teleworkers and contractors. While there are many benefits to collaboration software, such as improved project management, workflow and invoicing, many systems can hold hidden drawbacks if not implemented correctly.

Read on to discover some key disadvantages of collaboration software:

1)      A fall in efficiency

A drop in productivity is common for poorly implemented group collaboration software systems, even though they would have been installed with the opposite effect in mind.

Often, tasks are completed more efficiently beyond the parameters of groupware than within it, this is chiefly because it can take a lot of time and effort to synchronise the schedules of participants. If one person has to change their plans at the last moment, turmoil can reverberate throughout the group.

2)      Unreliability

Beyond a possible dip in efficiency, group collaboration software can also be temperamental; should the server go down, work cannot be done unless it is completed individually, which undermines the whole point of the technology.

3)      Expense

Groupware can be extremely pricey, and costs multiply when you factor in enabling, deployment and maintenance tools. While collaboration technology is essentially thought of as the cheaper alternative (which works out as true, in comparison with paying for a team business trip), the costs can still mount up for SMEs searching for the best groupware products.

4)      Restrictions to one vendor

While being tied to one software vendor for groupware is not a typical scenario, it can happen.

Your chosen platform may create documents and other files in unique formats, making the export of data to other platforms very fiddly unless experts are brought in. In extreme cases, businesses can find themselves locked into one format of groupware with no way out but to dump data, should they wish to leave the agreement.

5)      Security

One of the highest priorities with any organisation is data security, and unfortunately group collaboration software is no less susceptible to criminal online activity.

Unauthorised access to data silos is always a problem to consider, especially for data while in transit.

6)       E-only communication

Just as driving with through your sat-nav can disconnect you from your brain’s attempts to orientate itself, so group collaboration software quietly renders verbal communication redundant, nurturing a sense of collective isolation.

While business communication has always been built on the written, rather than the spoken word, enabling this culture on an everyday team-work level can hinder fluidity and stunt communication, opening the flood gates for misunderstanding.  

7)      Inadequate feature set

A high price has been paid for groupware, it has been deployed and the users have been trained. Only one more hurdle remains to be crossed, and this is the feature set.

You may have too many features, which makes operations confusing, or not enough which prevents the solution from being fit for purpose.

Even if a bespoke feature solution is created, taking into account all the features needed, the problem may still continue as the feature landscape that you need may change over time. To make matters worse, by the time you work out what features you need, you may find that they can no longer be incorporated into the mainframe.


Group collaboration software can offer real solutions to day-to-day operations, but it is not a panacea to all your communication bugs. Be sure to take these real disadvantages into consideration, so that your decision to go with groupware comes from as informed a standpoint as possible.




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