Enterprise social collaboration

TRENDAFRiCA August 5, 2013

Image: www.freedigitalphotos.net

New technologies and the resultant mobile work environment has created a new way of working and resulted in companies having to adopt a more collaborative approach to business.

Avanade’s recent global Social Collaboration study reveals that companies are redesigning long-standing processes to adapt to this shift: “It’s clear that social technologies play a key role in facilitating collaboration. Overall, research results showed a large, as-yet-unmet opportunity to fully adopt and leverage social technologies for collaboration at work.”

Avanade reports that the majority of IT decision makers (87%), business leaders (67%) and end users (68%), report using enterprise social networking technologies, but most lack true enterprise collaboration capabilities.

Key findings from the research study include:

  • Social collaboration is on the corporate agenda and the rate of new technology adoption is on the rise.
  • Business and IT decision-makers have a false sense of accomplishment when it comes to social collaboration.
  • Companies have a polarised view of social collaboration. Alongside a majority of eager adopters, a healthy minority of business leaders is skeptical about the real value of social collaboration tools.
  • There is significant opportunity in this emerging market. More businesses plan to adopt social tools for enterprise collaboration in the next 12 months.
  • Companies are 73% more likely to report improved sales and new customer acquisition through the use of their collaboration tools than other companies.
  • The consumerisation of IT has raised the expectation of employees about which social technologies they can use to connect and collaborate both inside and outside of the organisation.

Successful collaboration strategies focus on people, not just the technology and there are several things that organisations can do to promote true social collaboration:

  1. Align technology investments and policies with the goals of the organisation and the needs of the end user. Enterprise social tools must be simple and consistent with the business, otherwise they can become another source for information overload and distraction.
  2. Bring data together. Collaboration goes beyond communicating with one another – it’s also about accessing information that helps employees do their jobs more effectively. Ensure human capital and data assets are not fragmented and that there are unified solutions to provide users access to the information.
  3. Connect your people. There is a treasure trove of information in the minds of the individuals who make up an organisation. Provide tools to easily find the people that have expertise and then give them the ability to easily connect via instant message, phone, video, email, blog, etc.
  4. Communicate and then communicate more. Training, user education and change management is just as – if not more – crucial than the technology deployment. End users in an organisation are never going to know how much more efficiently they can communicate and how much easier they can access data unless they know how to appropriately use the tools.


Source: Avanade ‘Social Collaboration’ global survey www.avanade.com

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