Collaboration – to cloud or not to cloud
Most company representatives cite employee productivity as the main argument for collaboration. According to a relatively old study by American psychologists (from 2006), employees use eight different applications every day. The study concludes that this switch of focus between applications results in a 40 percent loss of productivity. It’s unlikely there will be fewer applications (and apps) in 2018. A linear extrapolation suggests a probable productivity loss of around 100 percent. You can try it out for yourselves.
Good old processes
Integrated collaboration is intended to help employees work more efficiently – obtaining information without a long search, for example. What’s more, younger staff in particular want up-to-date tools for their work. When it comes to the user experience, they have no desire to go through drawn-out processes (I’m with them there!) to complete their work and are keen to quickly find the relevant information. Until artificial intelligence is available where we need it, the easiest option is naturally to quickly consult with colleagues.
The cloud supports modern-day communication
Traditional collaboration tools with traditional sourcing can only meet these requirements to a limited extent, because systems thwart innovation and the deployment of collaboration services – a far cry from agile methods. Little wonder, then, that companies are considering the cloud as a source for collaboration tools. According to market research company Forrester, 71 percent of managers see the future of collaboration in the cloud. Predictably, the International Data Corporation (IDC) confirms this statement – 65 percent of all UCC implementations at companies will already be cloud-based operations this year (2018). I’m not convinced it will be quite as much as that, but in discussions with customers we’re seeing very clearly that users are adopting a different mindset. The majority of comments about cloud deployment models used to be critical, but now they increasingly offer constructive criticism. User companies are now considering the cloud as a deployment model.
Collaboration as a service
The collaboration market is moving into the cloud. There are a variety of reasons for this. In addition to services being quicker and easy to provide anywhere (including on a mobile basis), cloud-based pay-as-you-use models can deliver big cost benefits, especially in dynamic scenarios. With a collaboration service from the cloud, users (and internal IT units) purchase the entire infrastructure management, including patching, upgrades and security. Using the cloud means the necessary know-how for the installation of such complex systems, migration into existing infrastructures and reliable operation does not fall under collaboration usage or the responsibilities behind the scenes. The cloud makes companies more agile and future-proof (for communication infrastructures exclusively on an IP basis, for instance).
This applies both in-house and also in the partner ecosystems for joint customer service, because short communication channels behind the scenes are vital for a good customer experience. I as a customer don’t want to be fobbed off for hours when I need help or be referred to someone else because the relevant subprocess is in different hands (“We are responsible in principle, but you need to contact our service partner for your specific problem…”). Presumably, you feel the same.
Collaboration services that also orchestrate cooperation beyond company borders are an important tool in this respect. And digital transformation with collaboration definitely gets the thumbs up. The cloud is a key component for this.