Digital has changed the way we live and work forever. In handing us the entire distribution channel it has made the world smaller, cheaper to navigate and also more social.
Initially such change left businesses defensive. Challenged by the way employees could communicate freely many organisations feared it would create inefficiencies and distraction.
The reality however is quite different. An understanding of enterprise social collaboration has created huge efficiency opportunities across every kind of business and increasingly those at the cutting edge are leveraging it to create new ways of working.
While just a few years ago ‘social’ was almost unheard of it now accounts for some 20% of all online activity.
That’s incredible growth by anyone’s standards and there’s good reason according to management consultancy McKinsey & Co. The global business advisory company estimates that $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in annual economic value could be created through the use of social technologies, two‐thirds of that coming from social collaboration between and within companies. The consultancy forecasts potential productivity gains of up to 30%.
Why use it in the workplace?
It is estimated that 75% of enterprise‐level businesses will adopt some kind of social collaboration platform during 2013 such are the gains to be had from creating a singular space from which to share ideas, processes and progress.
Earlier this year research group Altimeter published findings of a report into the business case for collaboration tools.
The overriding conclusion was that such platforms assist efficiency in the following four ways:
- Encourages sharing
- Captures knowledge
- Enables action
- Empowers people
That sounds all very ‘nice’ right? But what is the reality for those using such systems? Why should we all be excited about how they can help larger businesses?
Below we look at eight reasons for joining the ‘movement’:
1. Software as a service. Many collaboration platforms are provided as a service and therefore there is no software to install and manage, meaning very little resource drain on the IT side.
2. Designed to be simple and easy to use. The user experience is an important factor in adoption, therefore inspiration is taken from consumer grade tools to ensure they are intuitive.
3. Communities can be created quickly and are accessible. The entire point of enterprise collaboration is that the ‘social’ element defines an ‘inclusive and open’ experience.
4. Drive important discussions and communications out of inaccessible silos. Functionality like microblogging, wikis and notifications allow you to drive content out of email.
5. Create and share in a single system, seamlessly. Platforms put an end to multiple version issues and enable people in completely different locations to work on things TOGETHER.
6. Control access to content. Manage security at a document or post level if you want to it’s that easy, while other content items can be open to all.
7. Manage your global workforce. Many organisations have teams that are spread across the globe, bring them together in a single place to build community and a sense of purpose.
8. Drive internal engagement. An accessible management team that is able connect with its workforce creates a sense of ‘being’ and improves efficiency.
There are, of course, many more reasons to consider such a platform but what is clear is such software has evolved to find the right middle ground between useful professional tool and a fun-to-use social platform. And if you believe the numbers the time to adopt is now.