Outdated collaboration technologies stifle productivity, slow revenue growth and impede time-to-market, according to a new Forrester Consulting study released by Prysm.
The findings are highlighted in a report that outlines the key trends CIOs need to know in order to build an effective and collaborative workplace.
Data from Forrester cited in the report shows that:
- Only 24 percent of information workers believe their office is completely up to date and equipped with the newest and most effective technology and work spaces.
- Only 26 percent of information workers believe that their company provides the tools they need to collaborate successfully.
- 83 percent said they can be productive, regardless of time or location — if they have the right collaboration tools.
These findings are featured in the new report: “Driving Innovation: The CIO’s Guide to Collaborative Technologies,” Prysm’s third installment of the “Six Realities Disrupting the Workplace” report series.
Forrester conducted two online surveys in February and March of workers in large organizations (1,000 or more employees) in the U.S. and the U.K.: one survey of 200 IT and facilities professionals at the director level or above, and the other survey of 800 information workers who were employed full-time and worked outside of their company’s office at least twice a month.
How Does This Collaboration Thing Work?
About 94 percent of employees report that they encounter an issue when conducting technology-enabled meetings. This might be the reason that despite having access to modern tools, only about a third of employees frequently use digital whiteboards, online storage, data dashboards or enterprise social networks to collaborate.
“For CIOs to be successful today, they must face an undeniable reality: yesterday’s collaborative technologies — including email, conference calls and digital whiteboards — just aren’t cutting it anymore,” says Paige O’Neil, CMO at Prysm. “They are largely ineffective at meeting their most fundamental requirement: collaboration.
“Collaboration solutions must be designed to build a bridge between team members — whether they’re sitting in the next cubicle or across the globe. Our advice to CIOs: benchmark your firm’s collaboration efforts now and evaluate if your in-office technologies have kept pace with the digital revolution,” she said.
In order to engage employees fully, CIOs need to heed the top five major trends shaping collaboration in the workplace today:
1. Unified communications — the need to create an integrated connection.
Needing access to modern collaboration tools from anywhere is an obvious necessity, but it is also critical that businesses offer the ability to connect and share with other applications, such as calendars, Voice over IP (VoIP), customer relationship management (CRM) and other software, in order to be accepted and used by employees. Integrating collaboration technology will drive adoption.
2. Next-generation mobile support for your distributed workforce.
Desktops are out and mobile is in. Six out of 10 millennials and Gen Xers are taking a mobile approach to work, and even across all generations, 83 percent said they can be productive, regardless of time or location — if they have the right collaboration tools. In order to increase employee satisfaction and win the war for talent, CIOs need to build an infrastructure that offers collaboration services that are more intuitive and hassle-free, such as live chat for direct messaging among groups and teams.
3. New visual collaboration tools are making meetings better.
The two common challenges for tech-enabled meetings are ensuring that remote participants feel connected to the onsite team, and enhancing the visual experience of virtual meetings. The good news is that new tools are beginning to address both of these challenges. In a recent study, eight out of 10 information workers said that new solutions, such as digital workspaces, could better support collaboration, productivity, decision making and engagement.
4. The cloud enables true digital work spaces.
“Work” is no longer just a physical office. The cloud makes it possible for employees around the globe to create, share and access information, breaking down the barriers to communication, so that collaboration can happen regardless of device, location, or platform.
5. Big Data presents new challenges.
The amount of information employees collect is constantly growing, heightening the need for analytical tools — particularly visual ones — to help derive actionable insights. Tools that allow team members to visualize large datasets side by side are becoming essential, and they need to work for virtual team members, not only for those who work in the office.
View the infographic below to learn more (click to enlarge).