When it comes to collaboration, organisations are far from equal. Businesses are on a spectrum, from those that are forward thinkers to companies set in their ways, when it comes to communication and integration.
But what’s the key to success? The few companies that are achieving high maturity scores (10 per cent of the 2500 surveyed) are getting some pretty amazing business returns that resonate in the boardroom. For example, many are making decisions and innovating at rates that are three times as fast as the average business – what’s that worth?!
So the obvious question is, how do they do it? What is the key to business success as organisations strive for best practice methods to ensure true collaboration across devices and across locations?
Implement a collaboration strategy
Along with technology, there are two other critical areas in the collaboration “trifecta”: work culture and physical work spaces.
HR and Real Estate/Facilities are critical functions to be incorporated, along with tech, into an organisation-wide collaboration strategy.
Install a “walk up and use” mentality
This is a consumer expectation that is spilling into business. There’s an increasing demand for products that are simple to install and use right away, removing barriers that prevents sharing ideas and working together.
Collaborative workers don’t have the time or inclination for training or changing how they act. Just with products and tools like the iPad or Skype, users want it to be intuitive, and to do what’s natural.
Remote should feel local
With mobile working and telecommuting in full effect, remote participation in meetings and discussions is the norm. These workers expect to interact with colleagues, contribute actively and get work done.
Make collaboration easy to administer and manage
Both the AV and IT industries often has a vested interest in complexity. In fact, it often relies on it. Money is made by change orders, by integration of control systems with lighting, video and audio sources.
But leading companies are deploying solutions that are not only simple for users but simple for the buyers as well.
Establish informal, structured, formal, and dispersed collaboration environments
Collaboration doesn’t just happen in the meeting room. It happens before and after the meeting, in the huddle rooms, in the cafeteria, in the hallways, in the gym.
Leading organisations recognise the need to map technology solutions to meet each of these physical space requirements.
So, what does this mean for businesses? In summary, a truly innovative collaboration solution should be able to offer a flexible and natural way to communicate with co-workers and clients - whether you are together in a boardroom or working remotely. It should also be able to support the growing needs of increasingly global workforces.
Simplicity is key; there should be no complicated set up, no need for expensive software and no head-to-head altercations with IT over network security, bandwidth or firewalls.
Businesses shouldn’t have to look hard to find flexible solutions that can react to the changes of the 21st century whilst taking into account the time and budget pressures facing us all.
Jeff Lowe is VP of corporate marketing at SMART Technologies.