Working together is one of the most important aspects of becoming successful in any task or venture. Many of the most successful people speak about how they couldn’t have achieved their success on their own and often have a strong team behind them to credit. With teamwork being as vital as it is, it is worth discussing the power of collaboration tools in greater detail.
Collaboration is defined as the action of working with someone (or others) to produce or create something. It is a critical function of any high performing business unit and there is plenty of great technology to facilitate this process. Below are some of the benefits involved in collaboration tools:
Increased Organizational Performance – Dewar, Keller, Lavoie, & Weiss (2009) of McKinsey & Company discuss why collaboration is essential for every business. They emphasize on the value it brings to an organization as a whole. With the experience and research this firm brings, they express the following sources of value that collaboration brings:
- Improved customer experience
- More effective execution
- Greater innovation and bolder strategic moves
- Better development and retention of talent
- Higher motivation and morale
Increased Individual Performance – Klemm (1997) discussed how technology based collaboration tools drastically improved efficiency for individual work done in the classroom. What he found was that work was done more efficiently by individuals through the use of collaboration technology based on the following observations:
- less wasted time as productive work was accomplished in short periods of time that would otherwise be wasted in person (meetings)
- automated organization of materials made it easier to locate and integrate documents and business information
- created an environment for equal opportunity of input encouraging shy students to communicate their ideas while also giving aggressive students less space to dominate
- teachers were able to see and respond to what everyone is thinking which made it easy to identify strengths and weaknesses while also making necessary adjustments
- working in a computer environment gave better focus on the task at hand as social interactions can become distracting
Cost effectiveness – McLaren, Head and Yuan (2002) researched how investing in collaboration tools has benefied companies in the supply chain management industry. What they found was, generally speaking, the more elaborate (and costly) the tools were, the higher their return on investment was. Low cost tools (such as phones and e-mails) provided the lowest return on investment while the costliest tools gave the highest return. What is interesting about this study is how they factored in both the actual cost of ownership as well as the opportunity cost of being tied to a service provider due to system inflexibility, a fear that many executives have when purchasing technology services. Their findings conclude that although shared collaborative systems are one of the highest in terms of cost, they also scored the highest when considering the benefits. The chart below summarizes their findings:
As discussed through the research referenced above, collaboration tools will continue to bring organizations great value from improving individual employee performance to boosting organizational performance while also providing a strong return on investment. Business leaders should continue to embrace this technology to improve their key business processes and ultimately increase their profitability. Sirma Collaborate is a robust tool that is proven to provide all of the benefits stated above. Contact us to learn more.
As Henry Ford once said, “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.”
Thanks for reading,
Shamit Patel, Sirma Enterprise Systems
Dewar, C., Keller, S., Lavoie, J., and Weiss, L. (2009). How do I drive effective collaboration to deliver real business impact? [online] McKinsey & Company. Available at: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwjoy_j30_XUAhXB7oMKHZFbBVYQFggzMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mckinsey.com%2F~%2Fmedia%2Fmckinsey%2520offices%2Fcanada%2Flatest%2520thinking%2Fpdfs%2Fhow_do_i_drive_effective_collaboration_to_drive_real_business_impact.ashx&usg=AFQjCNECuzra3C5lQLSjWAu5VCYRqHD9xw
Klemm, W. R. (1997). Benefits of Collaboration Software for On-Site Classes.
McLaren, T., Head, M., & Yuan, Y. (2002). Supply chain collaboration alternatives: understanding the expected costs and benefits. Internet research, 12(4), 348-364.