Image: Flickr
Image: Flickr

In the new dawn of digital transformation, business is being done at new levels of speed and intelligence.

For a number of years now it has been incumbent on business leaders to embrace technology so that their organisations can respond to the rigours of modern enterprise in a flexible, creative, more productive way.

Collaboration software is at the heart of this drive – specialist IT infrastructures that unite staff and the teams they occupy through an online corporate system. Staff are empowered to work smarter and businesses are able to move forward with greater intelligence as a result.

Below we examine in more detail how bespoke software enables this to happen, and how improved collaboration leads to a brighter business future.

Open communication

More than just operating together, collaboration software allows people to work more effectively on their own. By sharing documentation through files and projects held on a centralised database, employees and bosses are always able to see the most recently updated versions of work, eliminating the risk of a duplicate document being held and worked on by a different team.

This transparency is critical for authorised personnel to retain a full awareness of what’s going on at individual, team and business levels at all times.

Enabling client-side capabilities means customers can also stay on top of project statuses and progress reports. Messages can be passed between all stakeholders at any time to address any sticking points that may arise.

Remote working

Sound collaboration software unlocks remote working, a professional arrangement that is proving essential to optimising productivity, process efficiency and worker wellbeing.

As long as there’s an internet connection, authorised personnel can access their databases and workloads from anywhere in the world and at any time. Co-workers can comfortably operate independently or together using video conferencing technology, irrespective of their geographic location.

Documents can be opened within the group and edited in real time, enabling all parties to contribute as effectively as they’d be able to in real life and in the same room.

Worker rewards

Knowing when deadlines are going to be met is key to getting jobs done, but if employees perform especially well then their efforts can be recognised, showcased and rewarded.

Collaboration software often support multiple channel chat forums; think social chat platforms but on a corporate dashboard. Colleagues can talk directly to one another or in groups, allowing individuals or bosses to praise other staff members publicly for a job well done. Others can join in on the back-slapping and give kudos with any number of emojis or even a gif. Letting others know their good work is being appreciated, even in this small informal way, will encourage positive behaviour and inspire others to tune into the vibe of success.

New levels of efficiency

Operating in teams is great for specialisation and achieving goals with the team context, but disconnects can quickly appear between silos; rivalries can grow, communication is negatively impacted and the business struggles to move forward on a unified front.

Collaboration software is an antacid to the debilitating corporate indigestion that silos create. All relevant parties can track work progress across all teams, while detailed reports produced at short notice can grant bosses unprecedented levels of insight.

Analytics tools take the pressure of individual team members who would otherwise have had to research and collate relevant data themselves; time saved can be put to better use in other areas of the business.

Nick Thompson is the Managing Director at DCSL Software, and has seen a large number of implementations of collaboration software over the years. “In a typical business, employees embrace collaboration software much more now, compared to just five or ten years ago, and I think the key reason for that is that we’re becoming more used to online interaction. Most of us use some type of social media platform, we engage with friends and family across various apps, and we’re sharing information between tablets, phones and desktop PCs. These are all different flavours of collaboration. We’re just taking the most useful functions and bringing them into the workplace.”

Despite some of the obvious benefits to using collaboration systems in the business, Nick sees some barriers that may stand in the way of a successful implementation. “It’s important to be mindful of the individual team member’s perspective here,” he explains. “If people feel like they are being overly monitored and tracked, they may end up resenting the use of collaboration systems. There needs to be a clear policy around the purpose of the tools. People must feel assured that the key reasons for using the software is not to ‘track and blame’, but to empower teams and support individuals in their daily tasks.”

Closer collaboration for a more productive future

Simply put, bespoke collaboration software is of fundamental importance to any enterprise aiming to stay competitive in a digital age in which our jobs are not getting any easier.

As job remits and capabilities as digital users expand, employees need to have specialist software on their side to help them maximise their productivity and to help organisations scale in the smoothest possible way.

Beyond enabling greater efficiency through daily tasks, the power of collaboration software lies in the speed and flexibility with which intelligent insight can be produced.

Bosses and workers alike have access to a centralised office that enables details to be taken care of, alongside the bigger organisational picture, granting the vision that can meet the demands of future business.

 

By Stephen White, Amplified Business Content