By Jamie Stewart, Managing Director, Exact UK

The ways in which people in companies work together and the way companies think and do business are undergoing radical and unavoidable changes. What was once a business approach based on guarded and proprietary information available only to a select few people within an organization has become a business approach based on the need to collaborate – both inside and outside the four walls of an enterprise.

As our global economy becomes more digital, businesses must drive down costs to be competitive and to improve profits. Both the ability and frequency of collaboration leads to improved organizational performance and, thus, profits. Indeed, to survive, an enterprise must be flexible enough to collaborate externally with its suppliers and partners while fostering that same environment among its employees. We must collaborate or we will surely stagnate.

To embrace the collaborative enterprise, businesses need to embrace a mind shift. Traditional organizational structures will have to make way for an open attitude towards every individual and every organization with which they work. This is the direct result of the rapid acceptance of the Internet as the medium for information exchange between employees, businesses and other organizations, customers and suppliers.

Exact believes the walls that previously existed between various departments and organizations are tumbling down and in time will disappear altogether. They will have to disappear if an organization wants to stand out among its competition. Customers expect the best service regardless of the way they enter an organization. This service should come without delays resulting from, "That's not my department," or "You'll have to speak to my colleague."

Extend enterprise applications beyond the 80/20 rule

To improve collaboration, enterprises should be willing to extend their enterprise applications to more than 20% of the organization. The 80/20 Rule that 80% of a company's processing is completed by 20% of its employees no longer applies. Enterprise applications contain enormous processing power, but that power has traditionally been limited to the few. Opportunities now exist for organizations to extend their ERP systems. Employees should have access to up-to-date business information any time, anywhere in the world so they can make good and informed decisions faster. In today's highly competitive environment, this is a requirement, not an option.

Exact are one of the leading providers of scalable solutions which cover all key business processes, allowing your people to share information and collaborate in real-time on a single platform. As well as helping organisations grow, Exact's solutions consolidate the processes of companies conducting business internationally.

Business on an international scale heightens the need for precise reporting and visibility; Exact offer a solution that is dedicated to giving a company's HQ total clarity on the entire business, from foreign subsidiaries to localised trading silos. With many businesses still performing a lot of tasks manually, or utilising IT systems that don't work together this provides complete process visibility and helps ensure employees work together to add value to the business.

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