At this point it’s tough to call your company collaborative if you’re not collaborative online.
It’s probably tough to find a company that doesn’t have some sort of online collaborative presence as well. We’re not talking about email – everyone does that. Many companies take things a step further with some sort of instant messaging application, like Google’s G-Chat for Google accounts. However, messaging doesn’t begin to scratch the surface of online collaboration, and that’s where many companies stop.
According to an article on BizTech, 59 percent of knowledge workers say they face challenges with collaboration told their companies provide. 49 percent of small to midsize businesses currently use collaboration solutions, and 66 percent plan to implement or upgrade within the next three years.
So there’s a disconnect – half of companies have some sort of collaboration technology, while over half of employees say there is a problem with their collaboration tech. The two out of three companies that plan to upgrade need to understand what technology is going to make their employees happy, or fall into the same trap that others have before them.
Enter cloud collaboration tools. 71 percent of organizations currently using such solutions say cloud computing has spurred adoption. From BizTech:
Hybrid, hosted and cloud technologies provide SMBs with collaboration capabilities they might otherwise not be able to afford. Organizations should also look to the cloud for robust security, the ability to meet their goals, ease of use and low total cost of ownership.
When people hear the term “collaboration,” they tend to think about traditional IP technologies such as advanced telephony and call management, unified messaging, audio conferencing and IM.
But it’s the latest collaboration technologies that can truly drive business transformation. Social tools; enterprise file sharing; high-definition video conferencing; and mobile collaboration hardware, software and apps are all in play here. Emerging technologies can give companies greater flexibility to deliver, manage and support all types of communications. Forging seamless connections between far-flung workgroups certainly enhances employee productivity.
Therein lies the disconnect – we’re not properly defining what collaboration is, and therefore we’re not buying the proper collaboration software. Collaboration is so much more than communication – instant messaging and telephony and file share. Collaboration means working together in real time, having a central location for relevant documents, video conferencing that puts employees “face to face” in the digital world.
We’re still social creatures, we still want to work together, just the way it looks has changed. If you put two people in a room and tell them that all they can do is write things down on a piece of paper and pass it back and forth, you’re hindering performance. Same goes for the digital space – you need to allow people to annotate the same documentation, share the same files, see and hear one another to understand tone, inflection and body language.
Collaboration in the cloud is capable of all of this, but only with the right solution that allows for these capabilities.