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SMEs overwhelmed by noise and distraction of social media, communication technology, and networking platforms

August 10, 2022 | News

New research has revealed that SMEs are becoming overwhelmed by the noise and distraction of social media channels, communication technology, and networking platforms, which are failing to help businesses collaborate with specialists and experts, limiting innovation.

In a survey of over 100 organisations conducted by Whitespace, the company behind the Shift collaboration platform, three out of five SMEs said that they found the current plethora of collaboration tools such as Microsoft teams and LinkedIn frustrating, and 78% said that they found traditional social channels both noisy and distracting.

68% said that they spend more time than they’d like sifting through communication tools to find content relevant to them.

Conducted to assess the collaboration landscape, and whether current technology solutions deliver to the needs of modern organisations in a digital era, the survey found that SMEs are searching for a solution that covers all aspects of collaboration – fitting seamlessly with their existing IT – in order to inspire innovation and new product development.

Specifically, 64% said that they wanted targeted collaboration communities that are relevant to their interests, expertise and profession.

Three fifths of SMEs wanted access to high value communities of influential individuals, where they can hold safe and secure discussions. Over half wanted just one place for online communities, workspaces, and client portals, saving time and increasing productivity.

The findings of the research show that SMEs are particularly interested in finding ways to collaborate externally with experts who they otherwise wouldn’t be able to reach. 75% said external collaboration was important to access skills that they don’t have internally, while nearly three out of five SMEs said that collaboration helped them think more creatively in order to provide innovative solutions.

SMEs also stated that they are interested in enhancing internal collaboration with the ability to share materials and documents remotely and securely being of high value. This was seen as of particular importance to enhance their ability to work from anywhere. 68% said better internal collaboration helps their businesses think differently or more creatively.

The survey further revealed that SMEs are particularly interested in IT solutions that focus on high-quality contacts that have the ability to bring genuine value to their business. 77% of SMEs said they wanted a platform that provided an easy way to find the right person to collaborate with.

Andrew Webber, Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer at Whitespace, commented: “The need to reach out to colleagues and external parties, using technology that makes discussions safe and secure, and the sharing of documents instantly, without fear of security breaches, is particularly important to SMEs.

“They know that collaboration is vital to the success of their work, scoring it 9 out of 10 for importance. The Shift collaboration platform gives organisations their own collaboration space, integrated with their existing IT infrastructure, into which they can invite their staff, customers, clients, colleagues and partners to experience a seamless online business development environment. This delivers the high level of curated collaboration that SMEs are crying out for.”

Designed to enable organisations to conduct work collaboratively, the Shift Platform, is available to organisations as a white label collaboration tool. Unlike Microsoft Teams, Slack and other collaboration tools the Shift platform allows the customer to have their own branding and design so it looks and feels like them.  The platform has been developed from the ground up to be intuitive to use along with enterprise-grade privacy and security for peace of mind.

SMEs are time poor and need to maximise any investment they make in tooling to support their ecosystem growth and business development opportunities.  The Shift collaboration platform enables them to find, connect and then collaborate with their own staff, prospects, customers and partners anywhere in the world at any time.

Created to provide a one-stop bespoke collaboration portal, The Shift Platform challenges the need for organisations to use the likes of LinkedIn, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Workspace by Meta, and other technologies for the purpose of collaboration.

For more information, and to download the full survey report, visit