Collaboration Technology Boosts Organizations, According to an Insight-sponsored Report by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services
The Large Majority Say These Tools Are Important to Reaching Their Business Goals
Seventy-six Percent Identify Increased Productivity as a Result of These Solutions
TEMPE, ARIZ.-- More than 80 percent of the respondents said collaboration technology solutions are either very or extremely important for meeting their organizations' top business goals. According to the Insight-sponsored report by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, which surveyed 421 professionals, "an even higher 90 percent said they expect collaboration technology to be very or extremely important to their organizations over the next two years."
The positive impact of collaboration technology, such as instant messaging, office applications, videoconferencing, smartphones and email, among many others, can notably improve an organization's operational efficiency and competitiveness. In fact, the survey found that 79 percent said greater efficiency is an extremely valuable business result of collaboration tools, followed by:
- Increased productivity (76 percent)
- Better business decisions (69 percent)
- Higher levels of innovation (63 percent)
- Faster time to market (58 percent)
- Reduced travel expenses (57 percent)
- Increased sales (52 percent)
Despite the understood benefits, organizations have struggled with some aspects of collaboration tools, such as the inability to include contractors, consultants and other nonemployees (46 percent), complicated set up (40 percent) and difficulty of use (31 percent).
"To mitigate these challenges, companies innovating in the space have continued to evolve these tools and technologies. We are seeing the proliferation of both new and next generation technologies specifically designed with simplicity and the non-tech end-user in mind. This will help ensure that your employees use them and that they generate their promised return on investment," said Doug Fink, director, Collaboration Practice, Insight.
Lead from the top down
In order to build a collaborative and competitive workplace, C-level executives must lead the charge. The survey results revealed that these expectations aren't quite met. While sixty-six percent agree that their collaborative culture needs to be led by C-level executives, only 50 percent believe their executives are modeling this behavior.
"As with any organizational change, buy in from and leadership by the senior team is an imperative. They not only need to make a commitment in terms of investment, but also commit to using the tools themselves. For example, if your organization has employees all over the world, and having face-to-face interactions is important to the workplace culture, then videoconferencing should be a standard. This can also reduce the need for travel and its associated expenses, underscoring how adoption of these tools can have a clear ROI both in terms of culture and cost," said Fink.
This was an email survey. A total of 421 respondents were drawn from the Harvard Business Review audience of readers (magazine and e-newsletters customers and users of HBR.org). Eighteen percent of respondents were in general and executive management, 10 percent were in sales and business development, 8 percent were in IT/software engineering, 7 percent were in consulting, 7 percent were in HR/training, and another 7 percent were in R&D/innovation/product development. Other functions were represented by 6 percent or less of the respondent base.
For more information on Insight, visit http://www.insight.com or call 1.800.INSIGHT.
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