Boosting Team Productivity:
Removing barriers with integrated content, workflows and collaboration ecosystems
In the recent years, we have witnessed a wave of change in the way we work. Our dependence on technology has grown exponentially both in our personal life and in the professional realm. At work we use technology extensively to communicate, share, search and collaborate. All our systems are based on IT, and Information Systems are at the heart of most companies irrespective of their size. Yet, organizations continue to struggle with data growth and the deluge of massive floating data that clogs repositories in various forms.
Much of today’s information is captured at random without a defined structure and to compound the issue largeorganization tend to have disparate applications. Some functions work with external stakeholders outside of enterprise business applications, and their business is often stored throughout silo systems that span different domains, owners, and organizations. Thereby rising silos of the data dump, making information sharing difficult and reducing efficiency and productivity. This gives rise to various security challenges, as, without a central repository and management of this data, there is increased chance of data leaks and losses leading to increased compliance risks. Most organizations will agree that the need of the hour is to have defined repository and processes for sharing and distribution of information to foster and promote productivity, creativity, collaboration, and innovation. In the next level, it blends into Enterprise Collaboration Systems that enable peer-to-peer networking thereby facilitating knowledge sharing and fostering team-based collaboration.
Most companies will always find opportunities to increase their collaborative productivity by eliminating inefficiencies in the way information is structured and used resulting in ineffective collaboration efforts and complicated process steps. While most often employees get free access to a broad range of information resources hoping that they will draw out their individual information chart, it often does fails to work as it leaves a lot on the ability of the employees. Also, it fails to utilize the power of structure and time-saving that a pre-defined system enables. The executive view of what is happening well and where can one invest in additional systems also helps elevate organization performance to another level of efficiency.
The September 2013 Aberdeen Next-Generation Communications (NGC) study of the communications practices of 126 organizations found that companies that had identified business collaboration as their top business goal saw significant business performance improvement compared to organizations that did not prioritize collaboration.
Source: Aberdeen Group, Sept. 2013
Collaborators Advantage: Y-o-Y Performance Change
For an employee, the standalone and disparate systems of email, spreadsheets, team repositories, online databases to more complex business intelligence systems is heterogeneous as it is erratic. With fading lines of separation between work and play, the need to access work information from home becomes more pressing and the growing disillusion with these disparate systems increases. Comprehensive ESC combines all forms of stand-alone technologies such as e-mails, social profiles, document sharing, discussion forums, wikis, blogs and subject tagging. These platforms attempt at breaking silos in organizations thereby increasing cross-departmental collaboration.
Removing barriers to enhance productivity
High performing companies with socially enabled collaborative workplaces also help employees and teams communicate with one another across boundaries. Online communities have an enormous potential to help employees collaborate, brainstorm and crowdsource to get accurate answers and useful documents from the right experts and forums. The Marketing Group at one of the top pharmaceutical company was known to have developed a Global Online Community for its product. The objective was to create an on-line community that can give guidance globally but had to be implemented locally. Various groups took in the interactions on this online portal that generated time savings and the greatest and lowest cost, respectively. One of the greatest advantages was that it cut across locations and created collaborative forums where the breakdown in communication was frequent. The online community platform went on to become one of the most successful collaboration platforms for the organization bringing accountability and responsibility for all stakeholders, encouraging sharing of best practices globally. It also helped allocate ownership and timelines for tasks ensuring time bound completion. Governance of data also become easier ensuring that the platform became an ecosystem that connects the right people at the right time to drive in the right business direction.
The road ahead
Integrated content, workflows and collaboration ecosystems are no longer a ‘good-to-do’ adage for an organization. Without these clarifying roles of employees, unearthing inefficiencies and redundancies in the process, resource allocation and removing time wasted in looking for data becomes a daily trend that lead into massive revenue leaks in an organization. However, these demands have not received adequate attention like business performance management or revenue achievement. As many high performing companies, have realized that addressing these issues through a comprehensive ECS framework have not only improved the execution of projects and has enhanced the ability to price better but also made both internal and external customers more satisfied. The first step to the road of boosting team productivity leads through an efficient and comprehensive ECS system.
http://az370354.vo.msecnd.net/whitepapers/reimagining/Social-Collaboration-Infographic-FINAL.pdf Source: McKinsey, 2012; Forrester, 2011; IDC, 2012; Inside Communication, 2012; McKinsey, 2012