Today, competitive advantage is determined not by the resources you own or control, but by what you can access. Forbes describes collaboration as the “new competitive advantage”. With this in mind, it’s safe to say that building a networked organisation – one that embraces collaborative tools and solutions – is essential.
Here are a few steps organisations should follow to become collaboration champions:
#1 Test the waters
Before you decide to adopt some sort of collaboration software across your entire business, consider testing how the platform works within a single workgroup These experiences and learnings can be used as a benchmark for further deployments.
#2 Balance freedom and risks
As is the case with most things, with the benefits come risks. If you want to effectively embrace collaboration, you need to find the perfect balance between security and restriction. The user experience cannot be hampered by security procedures. Similarly, your security protocols cannot be so relaxed that sensitive corporate information is put at risk.
#3 Seek out the right solutions
Often, solutions that enable collaboration are already being used across your business. But they could be used more effectively. This requires training or at least a managed approach to sharing best practice. Ironically, many collaboration platforms include discussion facilities (e.g. Yammer) that can promote best practice from the users themselves. If you are introducing entirely new tools and technologies, make sure that these are intuitive and set out solid use guidelines so that they boost productivity and don’t act as a distraction.
Triad and Techpros.io recently surveyed a group of UK business leaders to find out about their current IT and technology needs. With a particular focus on their use of Microsoft’s broad range of technologies, the survey participants repeatedly cited collaboration as a key determinant of modern business success. All of their insights were used as the basis for the eBook Unpacking the future impact of Microsoft technologies so please download and read it for more ideas on how to use and benefit from Microsoft and the opportunities for collaboration that it offers.