Best Digital Whiteboard For Business – The range of workplace collaboration tools available to teams today is far beyond anything employees could have imagined two and a half years ago. When work-from-home orders swept the world in early 2020, most organizations focused on ensuring they had viable chat and video platforms. Now, as a significant …

Best Digital Whiteboard For Business

Best Digital Whiteboard For Business – The range of workplace collaboration tools available to teams today is far beyond anything employees could have imagined two and a half years ago. When work-from-home orders swept the world in early 2020, most organizations focused on ensuring they had viable chat and video platforms. Now, as a significant proportion of employees have decided to work outside the office for at least part of the work week, tools that do more than support workers’ basic communication needs are increasingly sought after.

One product that experienced an explosion of growth this year was the digital whiteboard. Also known as visual collaboration platforms or shared canvas applications, these tools allow hybrid teams to collaborate visually through an online interface.

Best Digital Whiteboard For Business

Best Digital Whiteboard For Business

Between March and May 2022, Box, ClickUp, Mural, BlueJeans, and Zoom all made announcements related to the launch of a new whiteboard product or major updates to an existing whiteboard tool. Why so much activity?

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Data released by Forrester in May 2022 shows that 62% of business and technology professionals who have transitioned at least part of their workforce to full-time remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic expect to maintain a rate permanently higher than -remote employees, even in traditionally face-to-face industries. As a result of these far-reaching changes in the workforce, many organizations are looking for ways to create a more unified collaboration experience for a geographically dispersed workforce.

Digital whiteboard vendors say their platforms meet that need. Visual collaboration applications typically accessed through a web browser create persistent workspaces where team members can collaborate from any device, in real-time or asynchronously. In addition to drawing and writing tools, the apps give users the ability to add images, videos, diagrams, sticky notes, and other elements. Several platforms offer integrations with business tools such as Slack, Trello, Jira, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft Teams.

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Andrew Hewitt, senior analyst at Forrester, said virtual whiteboards provide a way for organizations to reduce friction between hybrid and remote workers. But, he noted, because so few people considered a physical whiteboard key to their work setup before the pandemic, workers who didn’t need an online brainstorming tool three years ago are unlikely to be pushing for their adoption today

Historically, the customer base for digital whiteboard tools has been developers or those working in creative roles such as design, not general business users. So, unlike more traditional collaboration tools like video conferencing and chat platforms, which have an enterprise adoption rate of nearly 80%, digital whiteboard tools have yet to catch on in the corporate world.

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“As with any technology, getting people to deploy these tools and learn how to use them effectively is very important to their global adoption, especially in this market where you’re asking people to collaborate in a way that they might not be used to.” Hewitt said.

In November 2021, Research Nester estimated that the visual collaboration market will be worth $1.67 billion by 2028. One company operating in that space is Figma, which offers a browser-based collaborative interface design tool. The vendor’s FigJam whiteboarding solution launched in April 2021 and now has Stripe, Twitter, Airbnb and Netflix as customers. Adobe just announced a $20 billion deal to acquire Figma.

Emily Lin, chief product officer at Figma, said that even before 2020, the company was seeing a trend among Figma customers using the tool to make the design process more collaborative. Engineers and project managers who weren’t traditional Figma users began using the tool to collaborate with design teams in a way the company had never seen before.

Best Digital Whiteboard For Business

“We saw people start to push the platform beyond things like classic UI design and instead start using Figma for things like brainstorming what they should design,” Lin said.

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As a result, the company decided to launch a dedicated tool that would allow all these teams to come together in one place and collaborate. When FigJam first hit the market, Lin said it had two key use cases, one was ideation and brainstorming, and the second was user flows and basic diagrams.

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However, after FigJam launched, the company saw an increase in customers using the platform as a means to socialize with teams. Users began sharing their unique FigJam use cases on Twitter and developing team rituals like a Friday chat coffee or game night.

The platform now offers more playful capabilities, including a photo booth that takes digital Polaroid photos of board session participants, alongside traditional options.

Third-party developers who use FigJam professionally have also expanded the platform’s socializing capabilities. Lin said the company is seeing many individual developers, as well as partner companies, create plugins that have driven that ultimate goal of helping teams feel more connected and engaged.

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“Someone created a widget that had different games and ice breakers that you can play with people, and there’s even things like Rock Paper Scissors. Now there are all kinds of activities that are really fun and sit alongside your traditional JIRA widgets and Asana,” he said.

Although Figma is a platform designed specifically for designers, Lin said that 70% of new FigJam users are people from other parts of the company.

Financial services and software company Stripe is one of FigJam’s customers. While the company declined to name the tools it was using before FigJam came on the scene, Talia Siegel, a product designer at Stripe, said the other tools didn’t offer templates that made it easy to brainstorm or work alongside many colleagues at once.

Best Digital Whiteboard For Business

Like most customers, Stripe originally started using the platform for team brainstorming, but over time has embraced what she describes as the “playful side” of FigJam. “Illustrations, stickers and emojis now fill our brainstorming documents. We also use FigJam to create activities to create bonds between the whole team while working remotely,” he said.

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Despite the flurry of product launches earlier in the year, Hewitt said the market is still relatively undersaturated. But as the popularity of these tools continues to grow, we’re likely to see more vendors enter the space — in mid-August, for example, graphic design platform Canva became the latest company to launch a whiteboard product.

“[For vendors] there’s always this question of, ‘Do I build it natively?’ Do I integrate or do I acquire something?’” Hewitt said. “There are also a lot of smaller vendors that would be ripe for acquisition in this space … but currently, there are only about six vendors in total that are really making big inroads.”

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And where FigJam has seen its use cases expand beyond its original purpose, Hewitt said many vendors in this space don’t want to be seen as just a whiteboard solution, but instead focus on the broader visual collaboration aspect of this technology that enables multiple types of collaboration, such as content creation, project management, mind mapping and design sprints, among others.

As the market continues to grow, Hewitt said we can expect to see these platforms integrate with other technologies, including AR, VR and the metaverse. “It’s very, very early for that right now… but it’s definitely something that people are hypothesizing, that the market will move in that direction and we’ll see better integration between AR and VR technologies and the visual collaboration tools themselves.”

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However, he cautions that while employees might begin to see the benefits of having access to a visual collaboration tool, standalone platforms could struggle to grow their customer base in a tough economic climate. If companies are forced to make difficult budget decisions, a single visual collaboration platform may not be economically justified, compared to a simpler whiteboarding tool included in the licensing cost of a larger unified communications platform that addresses the overall strategy of collaboration of a company.

“[Whiteboard tools are] an additional capability, but it’s not the case that if you don’t have this product, you’re going to fail as an organization,” Hewitt said.

Charlotte Trueman is a writer at . He joined IDG in 2016 after graduating with a BA in English and American Literature from the University of Kent. Trueman covers collaboration, focusing on video conferencing, productivity software, the future of work, and diversity and inclusion issues in the technology sector. Product automation platform Code-free automation in over 5,000 apps How it works Learn the basics Security Trusted by over 2 million businesses Features Creation Flexible workflows App integrations Explore over 5,000 app connections Early access Be the first to try new products. Transfer beta. Move bulk data on demand. No-code databases built for Zaps. Alpha interfaces. Role Marketing Business Owners IT Sales Operations By Workflow Lead Management Customer Communications Internal Processes Data Management By Company Size Startups SMBs Business Resources & Support By Function Marketing Business Owners IT Sales Operations Learn More Blog University Webinars Customer Stories Get Help Help Center Community Hire an Expert Support Services Contact Support Teams and Enterprise Pricing

Best Digital Whiteboard For Business

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Digital Whiteboards: The Next Must Have Tool For Hybrid Teams?

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