What Role Does Collaboration Play in Your Digital Makeover?

1 Mar 2016

The 2016 Connected Enterprise Report highlights the challenges in the shift from UC to richer collaboration

The number one item on any boardroom agenda today is digital transformation. With the rise of companies like Uber and Airbnb, your next major competitor may appear out of nowhere. Every business, regardless of industry, needs to adapt and accelerate its strategy for this new digital era.

Experience takes centre stage of any strategy

Last year our Contact Centre Benchmarking Report coined a phrase used by many analysts and vendors - "go digital or die" - meaning that every industry will be affected by digital disruption in the next five years. Companies need to recognise that customers and stakeholders are no longer loyal to brands but to experiences. Today's end users expect omnichannel, multiple-aligned digital touchpoints available for communications and interactions.

Digital transformation means the transformation of everything from front-end systems of engagement through to back-office systems of record. A digitally immature business has disparate multiple stakeholder interfaces. To digitally mature, you need technology solutions that drive a stakeholder experience that is omnichannel, real-time, and with add-ons that bring benefits of predictive data analytics and a customised service.

The evolution of collaboration

Our recently released 2016 Connected Enteprise Report shows many fascinating trends. But perhaps the most striking is the evolution from infrastructure-led strategies - approached from an IT point of view - to application-led strategies - approached from a user and line of business (LoB) point of view.

When we look at the digital transformation mega trends of social, mobile, analytics and cloud, the system management architecture (SMA) portion of this report accounted for 49% of the trends most affecting organisations' collaboration strategies. This clearly shows you need to turn business needs into agile and relevant technology solutions. If you're able to deliver a quality, flexible, and relevant end-user experience, then the delivery model is less relevant.

This is a big shift from the days of unified communications, which was primarily focused on infrastructure-led strategy. And our research shows that enterprises today recognise the maturity of collaboration as an integrated business tool and the need to place the user at the centre of a business strategy.

The need for flexibility, scalabilty, and agility

The Report also shows that 51% of non-application strategic considerations are dominated by flexible consumption and scalable delivery models. These are all geared for rapidly changing application landscapes - such as cloud, hosted environments, and software-as-a service deployments.

While we see that there are clearly still gaps in understanding between IT and LoBs, we also see an increasing number of customers re-aligning their structure to be more agile and risk averse. The Report shows that nearly 40% of respondents have not included technology into their collaboration strategy. This is concerning - especially considering that very few on top of that number will likely have a coordinated LoB/IT collaboration strategy either. Is this a digital disruption tidal wave waiting to happen?

Digital transformation may sound daunting, but doesn't have to be if you make customer experience and collaboration your priority. With the right strategy, it can clarify your focus and help you recognise the "low hanging fruit" that can be easily harvested first.

Read more about the 2016 Connected Enterprise Report.

By Scott Gibson, Group Executive - Digital Practice, Dimension Data



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