The sudden shift to working from home due to COVID-19 has been pushing organizations to use enterprise-grade solutions to continue work. Secure, seamless remote work is attainable with enterprise SaaS applications like Zoho Cliq. However, since 2020, consumer chat apps have seen massive growth in usage for business. Is it safe to use consumer chat apps for business, and don't they come with a huge security risk?
One of the most used consumer chat apps for personal work as well as for workplaces is WhatsApp, as it stands out with a substantially growing user base of nearly 5 billion active users. However, despite its popularity, the risk of using consumer chat apps like WhatsApp instead of an enterprise application is enormous. WhatsApp is designed for consumer use, and when it comes to business use, it lacks significant functionalities.
1. Administrative controls
Admin is the spine of any organization as they help put policies in place and streamline internal processes. Therefore, granular admin controls are a must-have to effectively conduct and administer organization functions in a software solution.
WhatsApp comes with very basic admin capabilities, like restricting messages in a group, adding and removing members, and maintaining the company description.
Zoho Cliq has an extensive admin panel where you can manage users, configure access to every module, manage integrations, track and download organization reports, customize domain and email, fine-tune organization policies, edit profile info and more.
For instance, let's look at Cliq's module configurations. As said, you can configure access for every module. Every business has its unique requirements. If you don't want your employees to use the call feature, you can disable it for your organization. Likewise, you can enable or disable any module to fit your organization's needs.
2. Data privacy and security
The Security aspect tops the checklist when it comes to looking for any tool or software for the workplace. You must double-check and ensure that your organization's data is safeguarded appropriately before adopting any tool.
WhatsApp's primary security concern is the dilution of end-to-end encryption on WhatsApp. Messages in WhatsApp are end-to-end encrypted. However, they're not secure once decrypted in your device.
You can back up your WhatsApp data to Google Drive or iCloud, and this backup data contains your decrypted messages. The backup files on Google Drive or iCloud are not encrypted, which undermines WhatsApp's encryption.
Zoho Cliq comes with a top-notch security system in place. Cliq's SSL encryption allows you to track and manage how internal and third-party tools access your data. Additionally, with features like two-factor authentication, encryption of data in transit and at rest, GDPR compliance, and secret chat (chat with your history off), Cliq safeguards your organization's data from potential loss and keeps cybercriminals at bay.
3. Workplace collaboration
Especially when your employees are working from home, you must have an application to connect everyone across your workforce. This application should not only connect people but also enhance team collaboration.
WhatsApp connects all your employees in one place and facilitates communication, but in a less organized way. You can collaborate with small teams or groups of people on any particular project using WhatsApp groups. All your conversations will be listed under a single view, which hampers easy access and makes collaboration in WhatsApp more difficult to structure.
Also, any employee could create a group without the knowledge of their admin.
When it comes to group audio/ video conferencing, WhatsApp's feature is limited. By default, it only supports a maximum of eight users for a voice or video call. However, using the messenger room, you can make video calls with 50 contacts at a time.
Zoho Cliq offers a range of team collaboration features, like Remote Work tools, Channels, video conferencing, Broadcasts, screen sharing, searchable messages, effortless file sharing, and more.
Channels help structure and streamline your communication and offer four levels: organization, team, personal, and external.
All channels you're part of will be organized under separate classes and easily accessed from the navigation sidebar (unlike WhatsApp, where groups are mixed with individual conversations and listed under a single view).
One other notable feature is Remote Work. Cliq's Remote Work option brings your office inside Cliq and ensures you don't miss out on little things of working from an office. In addition to signing in to work and immediately seeing who's around and available, Cliq's Remote Work features cover other aspects of work, like tracking average work hours, taking disturbance-free breaks, and more.
Video conferencing is one other vital option during this unprecedented time of remote work as it can be used to improve employee productivity, motivation, and engagement, among other things. Cliq's video conferencing option currently supports up to 1000 users.
One other feature that facilitates video collaboration is Broadcasts in Cliq. It's just like live streaming, and you can use it to conduct town hall meetings, communicate company-wide announcements, and more. Cliq's Broadcasts feature currently supports up to 10,000 users.
This is just a glimpse of how Cliq can facilitate efficient collaboration for your organization. Learn more about team collaboration in Cliq.
4. Project management capability
The workplace tool you use must support efficient project management, from project planning to execution and tracking results. Also, it should keep all your employees updated with the project status and aligned with the team.
WhatsApp does not currently offer any project management features or capabilities.
Zoho Cliq's integration with the Zoho Projects keeps your team updated in real-time and collaborate better.
There are many other integrations for Cliq like Asana, Trello, GitHub and others to help you track and collaborate on your projects using those applications from within the Cliq window.
All these integrations come with a built-in bot to keep you updated.
5. Enhanced productivity
We ultimately spend much of our time at work working with the tool we use for collaboration, so that tool must help enhance our individual productivity and also allow us to add more functionalities to increase its capability.
WhatsApp currently has no feature for enhancing user productivity, nor does it have a platform to help build new functionalities.
Zoho Cliq offers ample features to help boost individual productivity. One such feature is Reminders in Cliq. You can set up and assign reminders for yourself, your colleagues, or even for a conversation in Cliq to ensure nothing important gets forgotten.
With Calendar events, you can embrace the experience of using an integrated online calendar from within Cliq. You can plan and schedule online meetings and automatic event notifications and sync them with your calendar. Also, you can star any favorite or critical messages and access them easily.
This is just a sample of what Cliq offers to improve one's productivity. Learn more in our blog post, "13 ways to amp up productivity with Cliq."
When it comes to building various functionalities and enhancing tool capabilities, you can use the Zoho Cliq Platform to build internal tools like Bots, Commands, Message actions, and others to automate your routine activities and bring data from other apps into Cliq.
6. Separate personal and business communication
When you use a consumer chat app like WhatsApp for business and personal communication, you're more vulnerable to distractions and miscommunications.
In WhatsApp, you can toggle between work and personal conversations with a single click, increasing the risk of being distracted and even mistakenly sending a personal message to a business chat, or vice versa. This can make you seem unprofessional or even expose sensitive business information to unrelated parties.
However, when you have a separate business communication tool like Zoho Cliq for your business, there's no question of blurred lines between personal and professional communication.
Using consumer chat apps like WhatsApp for business comes with a pile of risks. Their basic feature set deters streamlined communication and efficient collaboration.
So if you're someone who's currently using a consumer chat app instead of a business collaboration tool, it's probably time to reconsider and move to a business chat app.
4 Replies to Chat apps vs. business communication tools
This is great. Thanks for this insight.
Happy to hear that the blog helped you gain insight into the subject matter. Thanks for your kind words :-)
Yes, but ! First and foremost, I am a ZohoOne user on all 4 companies and I love Zoho products. you position your pitch at the business level, but for those who do BtoC, that is another story. An individual is on Whatsapp or Messenger, you can always try from your site to offer a Zoho apps, but he will have to create an account etc ... and if he does not know Zoho, he is afraid! It is therefore more the integration of consumer apps with corporate apps that I think must be optimized. If we are based on the example of Zoom, they went from the general public to the company, the creation of the account or the absence of an account was not a problem. With Zoho, the lack of an account becomes redundant for the user who is going to receive emails, etc., in my opinion, it is too intrusive.
Hi, Emmanuel. Firstly thank you so much for taking the time and letting us know your feedback. In a B2C setting, as said, there are high chances for customers to consider 'account creation' as an intrusive step. But in this blog, we're completely focusing on internal communication, be it B2B or B2C. In this case, the priority of any business would be an enterprise-grade application that facilitates secure and seamless internal collaboration. So weighing all the points discussed in the blog, the safe and more beneficial option would be a business communication tool instead of a consumer chat app. Also, Guest chat in Cliq provides a platform to communicate with users who are not a part of Cliq by giving them the facility to interact without signing up. Hope this helps!