Author: Mr Saif Ahmad, Founding CEO at Hallwaze Inc.
Collaboration, coordination and connectivity are among the most important parameters of success in enterprise operations. The system of work and operations within business enterprises evolved as a network of connected fragments contributing to the whole process. Automated pipelining of operations throughout different segments of a process has made intensive communication a necessity at any workplace. Apart from its intrinsic requirement for success in process operations, exchange of information plays the crucial role to lubricate the frictions in corporate relationships both vertically and horizontally across echelons of an enterprise. Against the backdrop of a delicate requisite of communication and sharing information, technology emerged as the panacea to every shortcoming within enterprises that arises due to communication gaps or lack of coordination.
Online collaboration, aided by Cloud Technology transformed communication within an enterprise by offering the functional platform for Collaboration, Coordination and Connectivity. Report by a UK based collaboration startup indicated that 75% of businesses belief that online collaboration tools will be “important” or “somewhat important” to their business during the next 12 months. The edge over the lacunae of complexities offered by online collaboration applications have made these applications the most favorite tools used within enterprises. The reason of its efficacy is the array of features that these tools offer corresponding to contemporary needs of enterprise process dynamics. Mobility, instant sharing of documents, Emails and Sharing of Information are the best amenities provided by online collaborating applications.
An insight report on Social Media around the World-2012 indicated that 7 out of 10 users use social connect, share content and stay informed. Collaborative platform materialized as such a critical utility for enterprises that without it, enterprises trend to become less productive than their counterparts loose an edge over the competitive market. As suggested on a report by McKinsey Global Institute, failing to implement social technology within enterprises makes high skilled employees and management 20% to 25% less productive. Hence, online collaboration can unlock the plethora of opportunities for an enterprise.
Mobile working is among the most effective traits propelled by cloud based collaboration tools. As long as team members are connected to the internet, they can contribute by working remotely from anywhere. This allows the team to accomplish a task in an organized manner even if they are completed dispersed physically. Mobility within organizations has enabled coordination even beyond international boundaries and facilitated productivity. Moreover, cloud collaboration enabled members to work on a task while being away from the office on a business trip. Hence, using the technology, employees can do multi tasking increasing productivity by many folds.
The telecom company O2, held a “leave your staff at home day” with an objective to have a closer look at benefits of remote working. The outcome of the study was surprising; shedding light on a number of intriguing facts and figures. Money saved by employees on commutation cost amounted to 9000 pounds. An extra 1000 hours was spent by employees on work, which was used normally on commuting and 36% of workers confessed that they were more productive than normal. Moreover, use of electricity was down by 12% and water usage reduced by 53%. Carbon emission too, was reduced by 12.2 tons. Mobile work force is on a rise globally. It is projected that by the end of 2015, there will be around 2.5 million mobile workforces amounting to 37.2% of total workers worldwide.
More than 50% of organizations see knowledge sharing as the top purpose of using social collaboration tools. Employees spend hours searching for information both within the database of an enterprise as well as from open internet sources. Enterprise social collaboration contributes significantly to saving time of employees, which is otherwise utilized in searching for information. Facilitating unrestricted and real time communication, information can be shared among employees or any member of the team can seek for specific data in the network. On an average, an employee spends 9 hours searching information. This can be eradicated through intuitive use of enterprise social collaboration networks and the time can be utilized in a more productive manner.
A report by Accenture indicated that 59% of middle managers miss valuable information due to communication gaps or simply because they are not able to find it. Online collaboration helps to eradicate the chasm in communication throughout the hierarchy and actualize massive productivity by turning any process agile. Quick chat and Emails facilitated by these platforms provides the most effective avenue to inform and update.
Online collaboration tools can offer a structured platform to employees to express their viewpoints and ideas. Collaborative work can attain magical solutions to the most pertinent issues within an organization. The power of group thinking can be utilized through these platforms, which can be the driving engine to create leaderships. New talents can be discovered via enterprise social networks who can be future leaders of the company. The fact that teamwork and unity can create wonders even in corporate verticals can be best realized through online collaborations.