Collaborating for success

Advait Kulkarni, IT Director, Cetera Financial Group
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Advait Kulkarni, IT Director, Cetera Financial Group

Collaboration on Cloud

The current enterprise collaboration space is marching aggressively toward cloud centric usage of tools stored off-premises and beyond company firewalls.

Working on cloud based enterprise collaboration platforms during project execution and also sharing ideas is an extremely effective way to gather feedback and synchronize ideas.

Whether it is enterprise social media for team collaboration like Yammer, instant messaging for exchanging information with HipChat or issue tracking using tools like JIRA, this mechanism is quick and efficient.

Using cloud centric document sharing services like Box or Dropbox, companies are becoming more productive by giving access to employees at any time and at any place.

Big Data Analytics for Collaboration

Organizations are trying to find out their ROI and effectiveness using Collaborative tools through analytics. Some of the parameters they try to look for are around who in their organization uses the collaborative tools the most and try to measure their effectiveness. They try to compare their ROI on collaboration technologies and how they compare against industry standards. Enterprises try to look out for steps that are bearing most fruits in terms of getting folks to use more collaborative tools. Organizations are curious on how they can we reduce the cycle time to get more returns in shorter duration. Most of them are also looking at the trend on how employees use collaborative technologies, try to find out what can be done to increase productivity.

  Better the collaboration of ideas, greater is the level of innovation that truly solves a problem 

In my opinion, companies have had mixed results in getting this done. Some are getting trends but not a complete picture on which technologies are helping to drive innovation.   

Fostering Innovation

Exchanging ideas, a precursor to effective innovation, is facilitated through collaborative tools like Instant messaging, enterprise social media and screen sharing.

Co-authoring research documents and white papers using collaborative document editing capabilities open new areas of innovation.

Cloud-based integrations are what connect a company's videoconferencing solution with not only its core collaboration software but also with the myriad of devices employees use to interact with it.

Mashing up different data sets and getting insights into data that has been retrieved by different team and sharing the conclusions trigger new ideas within cross functional teams.

Technologies for Days to Come

As collaboration technologies become more predominant, there will be a huge surge of mobile device based applications that combine natural user interfaces like voice, gestures and emotions to augment this support. There will also be more barriers like language, cultural or region broken down due to surge in translation technologies and appropriate live transcription. There will be a surge in applications that capture the metadata during interactions since that is getting lost during most of the meetings these days. Folks with most innovative ideas, valid points and interesting insights can be identified based on this.

The Churning Role of CIOs

The CIO role has definitely gone through a lot of changes in terms of agility. The need for CIOs is to be more collaborative and business facing has increased drastically. Given the rapid pace of technology product improvements the CIO today will need to share the technology vision with other departments like marketing, finance and sales more than ever before. With rapid strides happening in the SMAC areas, they need to be able to strategize beyond the areas they were working previously. Cloud based SaaS tools are increasingly coming up as alternatives to on premise software thereby changing focus more to security aspects and data movement like never before.

Mitigating rising Collaboration costs

Utilizing Technology to Slash Cost

Given that SaaS is becoming so popular, there is no need for corporations to buy and maintain a lot of the collaborative technologies. They can now use metered services only to the extent users use it. This has helped decrease costs while making effective use of collaboration. Cloud based services are helping enterprises only use additional resources in case of a resource burst in house.

Collaboration with Internet of Things

With an explosion in the number of IoT devices, there will be a sea of data that will be transmitted from different sensors like beacons to applications. This can be used for analysis by different collaborative tools. At some point, there will be a combination of the power of IoT and message Bots. This could lead to using messaging done by Bots based on messages received from the physical world.  

Innovation in team Collaboration

Innovation typically happens in interstices. This is caused by folks working across functional and departmental areas. This team has a close ear on the marketplace and gathers all the data through collaborative work. Better the collaboration of ideas, greater is the level of innovation that truly solves a problem.

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