Change of Ideas: The Collaboration Paradigm Shift
The times, they are a-changin’ – especially for a CIO: The current job descriptionlooks nothing like it did 5 years ago.
The modern CIO must be a gatekeeper of security and an assimilator of IoT (Internet of Things) strategies while dealing with global pressures as organizations spread across the world. There is less focus on managing operating systems, computer technologies and networking infrastructure, and more focus on integration, application and overall platform management.
The reasons for these changes are myriad, but we certainly can thank the surge in ownership of tablets, smartphones and other smart devices, along with a growth in BYOD adoption in many organizations. These changes are allowing enhanced collaboration among various units in organizations – but the transformation isn’t over yet.
There are several rising trends that will continue to influence a CIO’s day-to-day and long-term strategies, including IoT, cloud technologies, big data analytics, and new innovations in collaboration technologies and methods:
IoT: The shift in a CIO’s responsibilities means that he or she must now focus on supporting the growth of IoT and smart devices in his or her environment. Developing a platform strategy for this is a massive task, but it also allows for higher creativity, and gives the opportunity to build an enterprise ecosystem designed to foster collaboration platforms and mobility integration.
If an organization wants to foster innovation and growth through collaboration, it must be willing to be different
This means we can no longer just have closed solutions – having an open system is essential.
Being singularly focused on an operating system or technology is going to lower your ability to deliver powerful solutions to your organization. No longer can organizations be divided between Windows and Mac, iOS and Android; for truly powerful collaboration, all devices must be able to communicate with and deliver content to each other using all types of delivery and end points, including mobile, tablet, laptop, wearables and smart devices.
The cloud: True collaboration does not just happen in the boardroom. An organization must be synchronized, whether employees are working via tablet on a train in London, in the field in Tokyo, or in an office in Boston.
While enterprise adoption is still growing, the cloud holds the delivery mechanism, because it supports multisite, multiplatform and real-time collaboration. Its most valuable attribute is giving an organization access to real-time data to maximize the speed and delivery of content to endpoints worldwide.
Big data analytics: Most organizations have high hopes for using big data analytics for collaboration, but have had challenges deploying it because they are struggling in two main areas: having a strong strategy, andunderstanding exactly what needs to be analyzed.
In the end, the key is to set a plan, understand your goals, and use them to parse out what needs to be analyzed and how. This will help define a strategy to properly deploy and use big data analytics.
Innovations in collaboration technologies and methods: Collaboration is constantly evolving. In the early days, it was focused on three key areas: unified communications, whiteboards and file sharing. These reasons are why most companies are utilizing applications like WebEx and Go To Meeting.
However, these aren’t enough. The innovations must continue for an organization to support collaboration among all of its teams, small and large.
Today’s organization needs to create, share and modify real-time content across multiple platforms; communicate and engage globally at the speed of light;offer multi-device support;and employ faster and clearer web-based and hardline video conferencing solutions – and more.
Collaboration isn’t just about technology, either; humans need physical spaces, even if they’re connecting digitally from all parts of the world. Organizations must allow collaboration across multiple areas, from huddle spaces, to small conference rooms, to auditoriums, and via technologies ranging from massive displays to small personal devices – and any collaboration platform must work across all areas and technologies.
Lastly, ease of use is critical. If it is not powerful and easy to use, there is no way employees will use a collaboration platform.
Going Forward: Five Tips
A CIO’s collaboration strategy may benefit from the following five tips:
1 – Look for open-platform technologies. No company can honestly say that every employee interacting with a system will have the exact same mobile, tablet or computer platform. An organization must facilitate communication across all platforms to allow true engagement.
2 – Look for platforms that allow multisite collaboration. Employees that have the ability to share and engage with each other all over the world make collaboration solutions truly powerful.
3 – Look for one-stop-shop solutions to mitigate necessary expenses. If you have one platform for video conferencing, one for presentations, one for collaboration and one for room management, your hardware, software and management costs are high. Collaboration solutions – especially BYOD-type platforms – that can combine all of these functions help an organization control costs and deliver higher value. The upfront acquisition costs may be higher, but the management and deployment costs will be much lower.
4 – Keep an open mind. There are some amazing collaboration platforms out there with the tools to really help your organization grow and deliver more value. Be willing to challenge your supplier in your drive toward the future.
5 – Don’t just follow – lead. Too many companies default to the norm just because they are comfortable with the operating system and/or the platform. If an organization wants to foster innovation and growth through collaboration, it must be willing to be different.