Collaboration is a team game, the IT department needs your help

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Because technology is so ready available to mass markets, most of us use more advanced communication tools in our personal lives compared to at work. Frustration amongst employees is a direct consequence of this. They don’t understand why it’s harder to communicate and collaborate with colleagues at work, when it’s so easy to do the same with friends and family at home.

Just think - if you have a smartphone, you can send messages make video calls all around the world, send files, receive pictures, read your emails, update social media and so much more, all from one device. And on the go too. But is all that available for you and your colleagues at work?

Your answer is probably ‘no’, or at best ‘yes, but it’s not as simple as at home’. That’s because the challenge of introducing a new collaboration technology to a consumer is very different than introducing it across large corporations. Many IT teams feel there’s a lack of understanding of the difficulties of delivering a good digital employee experience. And 75 per cent say that employees often don’t understand how difficult it is to make IT work effectively - and it’s only getting worse.

IT teams acknowledge that they’re falling behind too. A lack of skills and knowledge in new areas like cloud, digital media and big data is contributing to slow delivery of projects like new video conferencing systems and deployment of hosted collaboration infrastructure. And it’s not just employees who are suffering, it’s the bottom line too. When companies fail to take advantage of new technology, it only increases the total cost of ownership of their IT estates. Opportunities are being missed.

CTOs and their teams realise this and they’re asking for help. Getting it right isn’t a short term task, it needs a permanent change to the way of working in an organisation. Ironically, IT teams need better collaboration to create a technical environment that enables collaboration.

Internally, every department has a role to play with IT when introducing new technologies. What are sales managers doing to change the way their teams behave? What are HR Managers doing to support the training and adoption of a new technology? What KPIs are Business Executives setting to measure adoption success?

Externally, IT departments are willing to commit longer to suppliers that can help them achieve short term goals while reaching a longer term vision. Contracts extending beyond 3 years are becoming common in the marketplace. Building a support system around the IT department is an important part of enabling any organisation get the most out of new technology. 

We’ve been researching the digital workplace since 2010. It helps us better understand the challenges organisations face when rolling out transformational projects. Our latest whitepaper is ‘People, productivity and the digital workplace’. Click here to download your complimentary copy.

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Joseph Walsh

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