Connected Enterprises Report
Dimension Data’s 2016 Connected Enterprise Report is out, discussing collaboration trends, insights, and strategies in the digital age. With the promise of lower costs coupled with greater productivity, increased agility and better customer engagement, collaboration technologies are providing tools for real-time communication, file sharing, project management, and social networking which benefit product development, competition response, employee efficiency and more.
- 40% of organizations lack a defined unified communication and collaboration strategy.
- Increased productivity is the most important collaboration strategy (19%), and increased sales the second (14%).
- Only a paltry 4% of organizations use return on investment (ROI) as the primary assessment of collaboration technology success.
- One out of four IT departments measure collaboration project success on the implementation of the technology rather than how well it’s used and adopted, with 17% or organizations not implementing collaboration training programs, and 16% of travel policies remaining unchanged and thus offering no encouragement to utilize collaboration tools.
- A massive 81% of enterprises believe collaboration has enhanced customer engagement and improved customer service.
- While 88% of organizations say decision-making processes have been improved through collaboration, many struggle to leverage collaboration to improve their competitive positioning.
- Though currently only 20-25% of enterprises rely on hosted collaboration services, nearly a third of IT departments consider moving unified communication and collaboration to the cloud to be the most significant technology trend influencing their collaboration strategies.
- The majority of businesses combine line of business and IT insights when selecting, purchasing, and implementing collaboration technology.
Productivity, Teamwork, and Profit
These top objectives for collaborative enterprises rely on streamlined communications which make it easier for employees to interact from anywhere, at any time, via any device, and through any app, breaking down both organizational and geographical barriers and allowing people to share knowledge and quickly take action. Contact centers using collaboration tools are also better able to facilitate communication and teamwork, ensuring improved customer service, while the reduced need for air travel and hotel expenses lowers costs significantly in global organizations without the loss of face-to-face interaction.
The top five single most important objectives of collaboration are:
- Improve individual employee productivity;
- Improve sales/revenue;
- Accelerate decision-making;
- Reduce business expenses;
- Improve teamwork among employees.
With the cloud now essential to most businesses, cloud technology is the principle platform allowing enterprises to deploy applications efficiently, cost-effectively, and at scale, and migrating collaboration applications to the cloud has become central to many enterprises’ abilities to make collaboration technology available to the greatest number of users in the most cost-effective way. Top technology trends affecting most organizations’ collaboration strategies are:
- Adopting collaboration applications as hosted services, rather than deployed on-premise – 27% of IT departments consider this to be the most important trend affecting their collaboration strategies.
- Adopting collaboration applications via a subscription model, rather than more traditional licensing – 14% of IT departments consider this the most important trend.
- Moving collaboration applications to private data centers, rather than running them on dedicated hardware – 10% of IT departments believe this to be the most important trend.
The many reasons for moving collaboration to the cloud are an assorted set of strategic, operational, and financial motivations, but significantly observed is the potentially lower costs of cloud (at least initially), and when adopted as a hosted service, these costs can become operational rather than capital expenses. Furthermore, administration and updating of applications is easier in the cloud, ensuring less onerous management processes. Those with an organization-wide cloud strategy in place are likely to take the cloud direction for their collaboration applications, but currently, 75% of collaboration applications are deployed on-premise, and so it will still be some years before many enterprises entirely migrate collaboration technology to the cloud.
By Jennifer Klostermann