3 keys to an effective collaboration tool in the digital transformation age

Digital transformation is a tech concept that does not only impact the self-proclaimed “techies” – it impacts everyone. The move to digitize processes and embrace transformative technologies is not only changing how we work, but also changing our expectations about how digital our work lives should be.

And the burden to keep up falls on each organization. As competing organizations are “going digital” – and as pressures rise from employees and customers to create efficient, digital workplaces – it becomes critical that IT responds to business needs quickly, with the most effective solutions.

3 trends

It’s not an easy task, but it’s a necessary one. As digital transformation is top of mind for organizations, we have seen three key trends in the market:

1. Collaboration is key

53 percent of respondents cited better ways to improve their information sharing and collaboration capabilities as a key driver for digital transformation, according to a 2017 AIIM study. For 44 percent of organizations, one of their top IT challenges is ineffective collaboration tools, according to a 2015 Forrester study commissioned by Hyland.

2. Application sprawl is a major concern

More than 45 percent of organizations already manage over 100 applications and 17 percent currently manage 1,000 or more, notes Forrester’s related whitepaper.

3. Shadow IT plagues organizations around the globe

Individual departments are consistently taking IT purchases into their own hands, only compounding the application sprawl, according to Forrester.

With these trends in mind – and the increasing business need to connect and collaborate with those inside and outside the organization – it becomes important that IT find an effective collaboration tool. This tool should empower information accessibility across the enterprise, integrate with other components of an organization’s overall IT strategy and, even more critically, provide users with what they need so individual departments do not go searching for unsecure, uncontrolled collaboration tools on their own.

3 keys

Again, not an easy task. So here are the three key components to look for in an effective collaboration tool:

1. Built for the enterprise

Simple but secure. For any IT department, these are top-of-mind qualities for any software purchase. With the pressures noted above, IT needs something that is simple to implement, simple to maintain and yet, robustly secure. Cloud-based applications become an obvious choice with the first two criteria, but some continue to be skeptical of security in the cloud.

Look for a vendor that owns and manages the cloud in which their solution is hosted and ask them the tough questions about staff, data centers and encryption. Cloud-based products can be extremely secure for the most sensitive of business content and information – you just need to find a vendor with the expertise needed to meet that requirement.

IT departments should also be able to maintain specific control over the product while providing a tool that empowers users to share and collaborate. IT should have ownership over user account creation and certain user privileges to ensure employees keep to internal policies as well as external compliance and regulatory standards.

The most effective collaboration platform for businesses is one built with the enterprise in mind – with security and control considered standard.

2. Integrated with your organization’s overall IT strategy

A collaboration tool is not the only product a collaborator will need to perform his or her job, but that’s ok, as long as it integrates.

The tool should offer a mix of direct integrations with other content and information management applications as well as simple tools that allow IT to integrate the collaboration platform with any other internal application, such as accounting or HR applications. This ensures IT consistently gets the most out of their core system investments while providing a seamless and simple user experience.

3. Designed for collaborators

The most effective product will be one that’s built for IT, but designed for the users. Look for products that make it easy for users to store, access, share and collaborate on all of their content – not just with those inside the organization, but those outside as well.

When looking into corporate content sharing and collaboration platforms, it is critical that users also have the ability to easily set granular permissions for other collaborators when sharing sensitive and even confidential content. And in a mobile world, it’s key that staff can access content from any device, anywhere, even when disconnected from the internet.

Successful collaboration is at the heart of effective business, and successful digital transformation is at the heart of keeping business moving forward. As you work toward success in both facets, your IT and business decision-makers should grasp what it will take to get the simplest, most effective solution for everyone involved. Just remember the three key components.

Are you ready to start your digital transformation journey and improve your ability to collaborate?

Jaclyn Inglis

Jaclyn Inglis

Over the last few years working at Hyland, creator of OnBase, Jaclyn has definitely started to drink the Kool Aid – day and night enthusiastically discussing the wonderful benefits of OnBase and ShareBase with fellow Hylanders, family, friends, and even complete strangers. Her graduation from the University of Rochester with a major in economics, minor in film studies and concentration in neurological science only goes to show how vast her interests are. With that in mind, it is no surprise she truly enjoys working to market Hyland's products across an equally vast number of industries – some even mirroring her academic interests (financial services, arts and entertainment and healthcare/sciences) – as a member of the Product Marketing team at Hyland.

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