As technology permeates every aspect of business, old words like collaboration have taken on new meaning. In its simplest form, collaboration is the act of working together to achieve a common goal. In the new world of Cloud Computing, collaboration has come to refer to a set of tools or applications that facilitate the act of collaborative working.
Successful collaboration, not just within your business but up and down the supply chain, can bring with it a wide range of benefits for businesses of all sizes. Small and medium-sized businesses, perhaps, have more to gain from effective collaboration than their enterprise-class competitors as harnessing the benefits of collaboration can help level the playing field in a competitive environment.
Benefits of Collaboration
In essence, the benefits of effective collaboration come down to three core components: costs, productivity and customer service.
Cost savings can be realised by lowering the costs of both production and sales. Collaboration with stakeholders up and down the supply chain can help to reduce the cost and time to market of new products and services
Real-time communication with a dispersed workforce or market mean time and distance are no longer a barrier to sales. Immersive, engaging interactions can take place via video conferencing, reducing travel time and expenses.
Productivity enhancements come from making better use of the working day; eliminating down-time. The decision-making process is much faster as stakeholders have real-time access to information; improving response times and business agility.
The combined effects of lower production costs, improvements in responsiveness and access to business-critical data and applications have a positive impact on customer service levels.
As technology evolves, so has the way in which we do business. Whilst the degree to which technology influences business changes over time, there are a number of ongoing trends that are driving even greater adoption of collaborative working practices.
BYOD has become the rule rather than the exception; particularly within smaller businesses, where user-owned devices remove the burden of capital expenditure from the business.
As more and more UK businesses embrace remote working, collaboration tools enable geographically diverse workers to access business-critical data and applications anywhere, any time and on any device.
More powerful devices, greater 4G coverage and ubiquitous broadband services have seen real-time communications (Skype, IMS, WebEx) begin to replace any-time communications (email, voicemail) as the media of choice.
As we move further into the world of big data, businesses need to be able to turn information into intelligence (via analysis) and then into action (via application).
Cloud technology finally provides a scalable, flexible and affordable platform for effective collaboration. Real-time collaboration leverages presence and sophisticated file sharing and storage applications provide access to shared assets outside the company firewall whilst maintaining security and compliance.
To discover more about the benefits of Collaboration, contact a member of the Yellowspring team on 020 3507 1920 or email firstname.lastname@example.org