What’s Missing In Enterprise Collaboration Today
Social. Mobile. Analytics. Cloud.
SMAC and the hype around it has seeped into the idea of enterprise collaboration as well. Today, most enterprise collaboration software providers are using the Social or Cloud as their USP. However, as reported in the article ‘Why no one uses the corporate social Network’ published in Harvard Business Review, most companies have failed in technology deployment when it comes to enterprise collaboration. So, what’s not right about enterprise collaboration software of today?
With the kind of impact created by Facebook, many collaboration software are made to replicate Facebook. However, commercially adopted application like Facebook is not suitable for collaboration in a work environment. Collaboration tools that are a replica of some of the most popular social networks do not include features wherein the software can be aligned to business goals; therefore, do not act as an effective and efficient corporate collaboration tool.
Moreover, enterprise collaboration software have a very complex design and function, making adoption and usability very difficult. Collaboration tools are usually not open, or they generate too much information leading to information overload for individuals on the platform.
Here’s what many enterprise collaboration software are missing today.
SIMPLE AND ORGANIZED
Collaboration platforms will never solve communication and collaboration challenges if they are not adopted by every individual in the organization. A platform which requires constant training for adoption and usage is not only cost-intensive, but also consumes time and effort which can get in the way as hindrance to work. Just like e-mails, the usability of and dependence on collaboration platforms must come about naturally to every individual; a tool which enables and simplifies everyday work-related challenges. The adoption circle of the collaboration software should accommodate a wide range of technical abilities. It must be easy to understand and adopt for a vast majority of the workforce.
However, simplicity alone is not enough. Enterprise collaboration tools must be organized. every information being disseminated requires context, be it at a work environment or public space. Therefore, when information is generated via collaborative tools, they need to follow a structured and organized format so that the information is easy to follow and has a context. Such tools should have the option to track history, conversation around a particular subject, etc. In other words, information discovery on any given subject should be easily accessible and be readily usable. For instance, features such as content indexing and advanced search options, etc. Simplicity put together with accessible navigation of context and conversation around a subject is the starting point of a a user-friendly enterprise collaboration.
INTEGRATION, FLEXIBILITY AND OPENNESS
Collaboration softwares need to feature options of integration with existing tools that are widely used (Outlook, Gmail, etc.) For instance, integration of emails and calendar with collaboration software makes adoption of such tools much more natural, and time and cost effective.
Further, these tools need to be open in terms of handy information around the numbers, locations, departments of colleagues. They should also provide options of syncing personal directory, so as to make information available at one single place. Flexible tool which caters not just to organizational needs, but also individual requirements is essential for development of collaboration portals. Such software should enable customization of modules that make interactions with the site easier for each individual.
WELL MANAGED CONTENT
Content is central to every collaboration software and adoption of such tools is heavily dependent on the quality of available content. Freshness and relevance is highly important to maintain a high quality so that every individual comes back to the platform for any given subject. A collaboration portal must feature the ability to store and retrieve documents and important information and maintain regular backups to prevent data loss. To simply content update through a seamless process, roles can be created for content administrators.
THE DISCUSSION FORUM
One of the most required features that make enterprise collaboration a success is discussion forum within the collaboration portal. With organizations being widely dispersed across countries and globes, a platform where individuals can discuss issues, concerns and various subjects is crucial for enterprise collaboration. Such a feature will enhance knowledge management, innovation and collaboration amongst employees. Further, this will also increase inter-departmental and inter-regional collaboration.
While collaboration platforms can certainly be intertwined into a cloud and social enterprise platform, replication of commercially adopted networks like Facebook or Myspace will not work in a corporate environment. In order to avoid replication of such networks, many enterprise collaboration providers tend to focus too much on sophistication, confusing sophistication with complex. Best of collaboration tools are those whose usability comes about naturally, easily and becomes unavoidable. Have you tried Precurio yet?
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