Is your Communications Technology Framework a Patchwork or Tapestry? Why it Matters.
A research study conducted by Filigree Consulting in July 2012 found that only 3% of organizations have developed an optimized Corporate Collaborative environment. Equally surprising is that 72% of organizations have either “Non-Integrated” or “Unsupported” environments.
The benefits of an optimized Corporate Collaborative Ecosystem (CCE) for the 3% are significant. These organizations are seeing:
- An accelerated rate of innovation (3.1x)
- Faster & more informed decision making (2.3x)
- Meeting productivity (length, participant satisfaction) (2.2x)
- Enhanced customer experience (2x)
- Increased individual productivity (1.8x)
- Reduced environmental impact (1.7x)
- Improved information quality (1.6x)
- Reduced travel cost (1.6x)
All CEOs would find these statistics mouth watering. So why are 3 out of 4 organizations living with unsupported or non-integrated CCEs?
How did we get here? Connectivity – the Great Unifier
If you look at the historical development of technology in an organization there were three different classes of technology:
- Information Technology
- Audio Visual
These technologies enjoyed rapid expansion and have become the standard in organizational functions. These historical roots are important because each of these technologies was once an island of technology within the organization. As the capability of each of these technologies increased, one of the obvious and universal requirements was to allow more people to connect to them. Greater connectivity!
- Users of IT services want access to data from any place, at any time.
- Users of Telecom technology, whose fundamental premise relied on connectivity to enhance their ability to communicate, want to communicate from any place with anyone at anytime. They also want a richer way to communicate than just using voice.
- Users of AV technology, primarily room systems in a corporate environment, need to add connectivity to expand the capability to include remote users in their meetings and to evolve the richness of the collaborative experience as well.
Connectivity enablers such as the network, the Internet, Wi-Fi, wireless carriers, Bluetooth and so many more, have changed the world. Connectivity has provided us with capabilities we could only have found in a Sci-fi movie. This has become a disruption of our personal lives.
Connectivity has also been a major, if not the major catalyst for disruption in industries and in politics.
Patchwork to Tapestry
As connectivity has increased over the past decade, the three technology “islands” are forced to unite into one framework. [Stay tuned for Part 3 of this blog for more info on a framework] The degree to which an organization has been able to move to a single unified framework where all the technologies harmoniously exist will determine where they are on the journey to an “Optimized” CCE. Filigree’s study indicates that most organizations have not even started this journey.
Every organization has an existing state of these technologies – their current state CCE. This current state is often in disarray because of the historical development of the three different islands of technology described above. The problems can be further compounded by the following factors:
- Distributed corporate model: Technology decisions are made independently throughout the organization at the divisional level.
- History of acquisition: An organization that has grown through acquisition tends to have many different technology platforms even within the historical islands of technology.
The bottom line is that more often than not, an organization is starting from a patchwork of technologies.
The carrot that hangs out alluringly for CEOs is to capture the numerous benefits (ROI) from an “Opitimized Collaborative Environment” with a comprehensive and cohesive Unified Communications & Collaboration (UC&C) strategy.
To do that, the patchwork needs to be transformed into a tapestry.
This task is similar to efforts that many organizations have gone through for other large scale technology standards. If you think about the journey to a single Enterprise Resource Platform, like SAP, there is a lot of effort required but the payoff can be big. Moving to an optimized collaborative environment requires some of the same factors for success, as the implementation of a corporate ERP system.
- Executive sponsorship
- Key functional executive buy-in (or the silos will persist)
- A roadmap for the transformation
- End User adoption (this includes employee buy-in as well)
- Investment to facilitate the transformation
The interesting thing about moving to an optimized CCE is that your organization can capture the significant ROI that is available, but the overall technology spend after the implementation should stay about the same or go down.
I will discuss ROI and costs in more detail in my next blog.
Questions we are often asked include:
- How does my organization’s collaborative environment rate?
- How do I move my organization down the path to an optimized CCE?
If your organization would like to answer these questions and would like to start the journey from the 72% to the 3%, we can help. Contact us.