Digital technology has driven changes in all aspects of business. Most notably, technology advancements have vastly improved the ability for employees to access information and to collaborate more effectively within the enterprise. ICT enables us to drive and improve communication within the business. It plays a significant part in ensuring that employees have better access to information which is personalised to cater to their needs and improves their overall effectiveness. Mobile enterprise solutions then enable employees to access and interact with business-critical data and functions, free from the restrictions of traditional IT environments and connectivity.
Technology has evolved to the point where it is no longer limiting enterprises in what they are trying to accomplish from a strategic perspective. Instead, he feels, it is the operating approach and internal structure that is now proving to be a hurdle that needs to be overcome.
Decision-makers can no longer say that it is not practical to collaborate or that it is too difficult to do so, as technology has addressed this. They now need to closely examine the culture of collaboration within the organisation and review how it needs to change in order to embrace a more digitally enhanced way of engaging with one another.
From a solutions perspective, the rate of innovation has been significant. Just consider how video conferencing has improved with businesses using this as a viable alternative to face-to-face meetings. The resultant savings in cost and time enable employees to use their time more effectively, replacing travel with other value added activities.
We have an ever-increasing number of mobile apps designed to enhance collaboration for individuals and enterprises. What is going to be fascinating to watch is how instant messaging will become pervasive in the business sector. Already, the convergence of collaboration tools and social media is becoming the norm.
It is anticipated that employees will adopt those solutions that add value to their working lives by providing as much real-time collaboration opportunities as possible. Collaboration is maturing, as evidenced in advanced messaging which now allows employees to chat, share files and switch seamlessly into video conferencing when required – working together has never been easier.
While some cynics might bemoan the fact that communication is becoming increasingly non-verbal because of new technologies and solutions, the opportunities it offers businesses are significant. As adoption accelerates, the user experience will continue to improve and organisations can look forward to a more collaborative working environment.
Desmond Struwig is the General Manager for Digital at Decision Inc.