Collaboration is a word that gets thrown around so loosely these days, it’s in danger of losing all relevance. If you’d like to test this statement, type the word into Google, you’ll get millions of results and millions of opinions. In the world of technology, the term is so ubiquitous, that it’s spun into an entire category of tools and applications for businesses. Some of these tools are fantastic; many fail to hit the mark.
What’s turned this seemingly humble word into one of the most important topics in technology next to digital transformation and cyber security? Before we answer this question, lets take a moment to define the term. Tech Target provides a simple, concise definition:
Collaboration is a joint effort of multiple individuals or work groups, to accomplish a task or project. Within an organization, collaboration typically involves the ability of two or more people to view and contribute to documents or other content over a network.
This definition, while accurate and reasonable, is missing something. Collaboration is about harnessing the wisdom of the crowd, engaging, empowering and inspiring individuals to use their collective knowledge to innovate. Somewhere along the way, the talk surrounding collaboration changed and the human element took a backseat to technology. You may be surprised to learn, that when we talk about collaboration at iConvergence, we focus more on business outcomes and individuals than we do the supporting technologies.
Now, let’s get back to the subject of why. Why has collaboration become such a popular topic? The answer really is simple; there are huge benefits to companies willing to get behind collaboration technologies. Let’s explore a few of these benefits:
Harness the Power of a Global Talent Pool
Attracting talented employees is a critical component of success for any organization. With the evolution and widespread use of collaboration platforms, businesses now have the ability to pull from a global talent pool and aren’t limited to a specific region.
Save Money and Time by Traveling Less and Working More
Think of how much time and money is wasted when members of your team are forced to travel for work. High quality collaboration tools make it possible for employees to work together from any location, all but eliminating the need for travel. Less travel equals more money saved and less downtime when traveling means higher levels of productivity.
Speedy Work Means Speedy Results
Collaboration technologies make it possible for ideas to flow and documents to be edited and shared in an organic, seamless environment. The time it takes for ideas to transform from concept to reality is drastically sped up, giving your business the agile stance that’s necessary for success in the digital era.
Flexible Work and Useful Tools Make for Satisfied Employees
When your team has more flexibility in how and where they work and functional tools for collaboration that are efficient and a pleasure to use, your business will realize a huge uptick in employee satisfaction. These tools also free up time, enhance connections among workers, minimize stress, and bring about an atmosphere of transparency and growth – all things that can contribute to overall happiness while at work.
The relevancy of the word ‘collaboration’ is diminished if it’s used in reference only to technology. The real power of the term is realized when collaboration technologies are thought of and discussed as a means to produce positive outcomes for businesses and people, and not simply as a discussion surrounding the tool itself. While we realize this article will be added to the millions of pieces of content available on the subject, we are hopeful it will stand out amongst the crowd and will bring back some authenticity to the conversation.
If you’d like to know more about how iConvergence can help to select and implement the best collaboration tools for your business, reach out to us. We are always happy to help!