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Dissatisfaction with Business Collaboration Tools Drives Employees to Shadow IT

Alfresco Survey Uncovers that Workers Turn to Unsanctioned and Unsecure Technology to Collaborate at Work

San Mateo, Calif. and Maidenhead, U.K. – August 26, 2015 - Alfresco Software, a leading provider of Business Process Management (BPM) and Enterprise Content Management (ECM) solutions, today released results of a survey that quantifies experiences, challenges and trends in work collaboration habits and technology. The results revealed that while 94 percent of knowledge workers recognize the importance of collaboration and 83 percent use technology to collaborate, 59 percent are not satisfied with the tools they are given in their workplace. This is particularly true among millennials and is causing them to knowingly turn to unapproved consumer-grade tools with little concern about the security risks involved.

This dissatisfaction with workplace collaboration tools is especially prevalent among millennials.

  • Seventy-one percent of millennials face challenges with company-issued collaboration tools, compared with 45 percent of baby boomers.
  • Forty-seven percent of millennials prefer chat and text tools for collaboration, while 36 percent of baby boomers find these least effective.
  • Forty-seven percent of millennials favor online meetings to in-person, while only 26 percent of baby boomers would prefer online to in-person meetings.

As a result, workers are turning in large numbers to consumer-grade tools to collaborate, even with people outside of their organizations, and with tools they know are not sanctioned by their workplace. This presents serious security issues to organizations, even though most workers are not concerned.

  • Fifty-one percent of knowledge workers use personal email for work.
  • Fifty-one percent use public document sharing for collaboration.
  • Only 38 percent always think of the security implications when collaborating.

“Today’s workers are a company’s true competitive advantage and they should be given the tools they need to collaborate, reduce workplace hurdles and be efficient -- ultimately, helping grow their company’s bottom line,” said Sydney Sloan, Chief Marketing Officer for Alfresco. “They want tools that are intuitive, mobile, easy to use and open, while also making sure they don’t get their company into serious security or compliance breaches.”

The survey included knowledge workers in the UK and North America who spend more than 25 percent or more of their work day collaborating online.  The collaboration survey findings report can be found at:

About Alfresco:

Alfresco provides modern enterprise content management (ECM) software built on open standards that enables organizations to unlock the power of their business-critical content. With the controls that IT demands and the simplicity that end users love, Alfresco's open source technology enables global organizations to collaborate more effectively across cloud, mobile, hybrid and on-premise environments. Innovating at the intersection of content, collaboration and business process, Alfresco’s software manages over seven billion documents, powering the daily tasks of more than 11 million users worldwide. Select Alfresco customers include: Amnesty International, Cisco, DAB Bank, FOX, NASA, PGA Tour, and Sony Entertainment. Founded in 2005, Alfresco’s U.S. headquarters in San Mateo, California and European headquarters are in Maidenhead, UK.  Please visit us at


Courtney Hastings

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