Collaboration: At the Center of Effective Business

By Samuel Greengard Print this article Print
business collaboration

Collaboration tools help business achieve better communication internally, tighter integration with other enterprises and closer relationships with customers.

What's more, the CAA can assign specific rights and privileges, including who can access each workspace and who can download and edit documents. In addition to improving workflows and speeding review processes, the Huddle software provides an added level of protection and security, particularly as more workers turn to mobile devices.

Taylor says that the move to a digital organization points to an increased need for collaboration, including the use of social tools to share knowledge and expertise internally.

"We're putting more and more services and processes online and requiring that people have access to the information they need to do their job," he reports. "We're moving from checklists to embedded workflows. We're attempting to move away from being a compliance-based regulator and engage in more two-way dialogs with outside organizations. It's all about a cultural and practical transformation."

Getting the Message

As organizations such as CAA are discovering, collaboration is a key component in managing processes more efficiently, and serving customers and clients faster and better. Effective collaboration can help resolve organizational challenges in minutes rather than days or weeks. What's more, cloud-based collaboration tools and social collaboration systems further redraw the business landscape.

A May 2013 Forbes Insight survey found that 64 percent of more than 500 senior global executives reported gains from cloud-based collaboration. The figure rises to 82 percent among industry leaders. Meanwhile, McKinsey & Company reports that social collaboration technologies boost worker productivity between 20 and 25 percent.

Accenture's Redey points out that it's crucial to focus on business goals and building value rather than on the specific features of a software tool. Typically, the sum of unified communications tools, especially when they're connected into a collaboration platform, is far greater than the individual components.

Mike Holzman, a senior manager at Accenture, says that identifying upfront goals goes a long way toward achieving bottom-line results. At the same time, there's a need to build a governance structure that balances the potential gains resulting from employees using consumer software and mobile apps with overall organizational requirements, including security.

In the end, the best collaboration strategies extend horizontally across an organization and also reach out to consumers and business partners. They create real-time point-to-point functionality that leads to greater agility, flexibility and responsiveness.

"Today's collaboration tools allow people to interact in a natural and seamless way," Redey says. "As organizations adopt these tools, they find that it's possible to achieve better communication internally, tighter integration with other organizations and closer relationships with customers."

This article was originally published on 2014-01-24

Samuel Greengard is a contributing writer for Baseline.

eWeek eWeek

Have the latest technology news and resources emailed to you everyday.