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Wednesday
Sep142016

Why collaboration matters for global companies

Business models across many industries are being rapidly redefined as new entrants harness new technologies to gain a competitive edge. But how well are new technologies going to help longer-established companies, if their existing technologies are presenting challenges?

In a survey of knowledge workers, almost all of respondents said they have felt overwhelmed by information to the point of incapacity.

Clearly, companies won’t get the most out of their employees if they suffer from incomplete communication, conflicting or fragmented information, barriers to collaboration, and feeling in the dark about the progress of shared tasks.

Are you nodding your head to some of this?

There is a way of overcoming these problems and becoming nimble once again – as well as responsive and competitive. It’s by way of a tool called Social Collaboration.

“Social what?” we hear you say.

 

Social Collaboration is actually a simple concept: it’s the joined-up efforts of multiple stakeholders in pursuit of a common goal. Social Collaboration is common on the internet because available technologies make it easy to share, develop and analyse information.

In short, Social Collaboration improves performance.

A crucial concept behind Social Collaboration is that “ideas are everywhere”. People share ideas in an open environment, and the discussion is not limited to only those who have domain knowledge. All ideas are valued.

Social Collaboration tools are essential to an organisation’s Digital Transformation strategy because they simplify how people find, use and share information. They also ease how people work together, track progress, attend and conduct meetings, and at the end of the day get work done.

This is particularly important for distributed or global companies with a workforce spread across various locations and working in different time zones. A report by McKinsey on the issues facing global organisations found that these companies believed the knowledge, skills and experience across their workforce was invaluable but they suffered from a major problem: transferring the expertise learned in one market to another.

Take the world’s leading manufacturer and supplier of hearing implants – Cochlear. Five years ago Cochlear identified the need to enable better collaboration between their global offices and laboratories. They especially wanted a solution that could host their entire global user base.

Cochlear chose ISW to provide the solution, and the heart of the technology from ISW was IBM Connections, IBM’s Social Collaboration software. Cochlear’s staff of 2700 worldwide can now call upon internal expertise easily and consistently, create communities of expertise, and collaborating across the room or across the globe.

The potential rise in productivity from social technologies for highly-skilled, knowledgeable workers critical to growth has been measured at between 20-25%. In addition, companies using these tools report an average 36% better customer service.

To help your organisation’s Digital Transformation journey, we’ve created an infographic outlining how you can expand your business with social collaboration tools, download it here.

If you’d like to see first-hand how you can empower your workforce with social collaboration tools at our Connections Ignition workshop, to register your interest, click here.

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