IT is in a powerful position to provide mission-critical technologies across the enterprise. When it comes to communication and collaboration, organizations are often dealing with a myriad of complex options in addition to maintaining or deprecating legacy systems.
In order to empower modern business collaboration, IT has to move beyond maintaining clunky legacy collaboration tools and instead embracing true, mobile-enabled, cloud-powered collaboration that meets the needs of every member of your modern organization.
Here are three reasons why it’s vital that IT embraces the next generation of collaboration at work:
1) Enabling Mobile, Flexible Workers
According to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, 20-20% of the US workforce is already teleworking in at least some capacity, with an estimated 50% of the workforce currently in roles that are compatible with flexible working. This is a huge chunk of the workforce, and that number is only going to grow as the technology available for remote workers improves and as more businesses turn to perks like flexible working as a way to attract top talent and remain competitive as hirers.
Ultimately, the burden to enable these workers falls to IT, and legacy communication and collaboration tools may not be agile or adaptable enough to truly meet modern flex workers’ needs. Mobile apps and anywhere-accessibility will be key features for any business software moving forward. IT departments have to keep an eye on this new “anywhere-work” paradigm in order to properly evaluate, select and deploy tools that will enable productivity for flexible and remote workers.
2) Getting in front of Shadow IT
Similarly, another reason for IT to embrace collaboration solutions is that if they don’t, it’s likely that workers will find a way to deploy their own tools. Thanks to SaaS, it’s easier than ever to try, buy and start using software. Most of them don’t even require downloads, and you can be up and running practically instantly.
By embracing a collaborative culture, by taking the time to understand the collaboration needs of each department individually and with proper communication and training, IT can ensure that they’re providing solutions that meet each department’s needs and lessen the likelihood that they will circumvent IT to use something else.
3) Creating a Collaborative Culture
Finally, workers actually WANT to work together, more than ever before. They’re moving from a mentality of “me” to “we.” It’s rare to find yourself in a role in today’s workplace that doesn’t, at some point, require the input of others. Regardless of whether it’s with internal colleagues or external stakeholders such as vendors and agencies, people need to share ideas, work together on files and reach a consensus on decisions, and they increasingly need technology to help them do it.
This is also in large part due to the influx of Millennials into the workforce in recent years, 88% of which prefer a collaborative environment to a competitive one, according to a study by The Intelligence Group.
IT has the opportunity to build those collaboration bridges and ensure that all of its organization’s employees can easily and effectively communicate and collaborate. But to truly create a collaborative culture requires forward-thinking and adaptation towards software and processes that foster tomorrow’s collaboration, not yesterday’s.
For more trends and analysis on the future of collaboration for IT, download “The Future of Business Collaboration: 2015 Edition” today.
This post originally appeared on CIO.com’s Collaboration Nation blog, sponsored by PGi.