Collaboration is an essential part of any successful team. In the past, collaboration meant frequent meetings, faxes, and keeping lots of documents organized manually. Fortunately, the online world -- and in particular the Internet of Things and the wave of HR tech tools -- has made it possible to collaborate more efficiently than ever before.

There are dozens of fantastic software tools we have seen in recent years, many of which are excellent options. In order to narrow the selection down and choose the right collaboration software for your team, it's worth taking some time to really think about what you need. Then, you can check which of the available options will best suit those needs. Having the right digital tools is essential to your processes. And it's important to note that this is part of a bigger development; according to Bersin by Deloitte, “HR organizations now have to learn how to ‘be digital’, not just ‘buy digital products’.” The increasing digitalization of HR is one of the most significant issues organizations will be focusing on in 2018 since it affects the way teams work.

First things first though. The following is a short list of collaboration software elements you can should think about before making your decision. While every team is different, there tends to be several common factors, as listed below.

how big is your team?

The size of your team is an important factor when choosing collaboration software. In fact, software that would be ideal for a team of five is unlikely to be a good fit for a large organization of 500 or more (and vice versa).

Many collaboration software options allow for multiple "channels" or "groups," which can help keep the various departments organized. However, if you're a small, agile team, having lots of different channels might just be more trouble than it's worth.

what types of files does your team share?

Is your team primarily sharing text files, like Word documents and emails? If so, you don't need to worry too much about the types of files your collaboration software accommodates. However, many teams -- such as architecture or programmer teams -- need the ability to transfer tens, if not hundreds, of gigabytes of data on a regular basis.

does your team work remotely?

Does your team meet in a physical office each day, or do they work in different geographic locations? If your team doesn't physically meet every day, it is important to choose collaboration software that allows your team to collaborate in a meaningful way from all corners of the globe.

what devices does your team use?

Is your team made up of strictly Apple users? Perhaps they are more of the PC type. Whatever devices your team use, make sure that the collaboration software you choose can support them. There are few things worse than having your team waste time dealing with technical issues instead of actually working and collaborating on productive activities.

what is your budget?

Believe it or not, there are actually several solid collaboration software options available for very little money. In fact, there are even a few that are completely free to use! However, if you are looking for a specific set of features, you'll want to at least look at some of the more expensive options available. 

Also, most of the collaboration software options out there offer free demos and consultation calls. Don't be shy -- feel free to take advantage of these resources so that you can ensure you make the best possible decision for you and your team! This list can serve as a starting place in your search for collaboration software. The right HR tech tools are key in communication and collaboration, and ultimately business performance.