11 Apr, 2017

Why Collaboration Landed on the Shoulders of IT


Collaboration is a vital ingredient in the cooking up of digital transformation. This necessity has fallen on the shoulders of IT departments.


Simply because effective collaboration is heavily linked with technology these days. Businesses are increasingly looking to the CIO and the IT department to source technology to improve workforce communication, particularly as employees increasingly favor remote working opportunities.

Without a solid and secure IT infrastructure, flexibility for employees would be non-existent.

Does Collaboration work in Real-Life?

Despite the advent of digital technology to improve communication, and ultimately the collaboration between employees, partners or suppliers, eWeek announced last week that according to a global survey of 4,100 executives and employees stated that email, chat, video conferencing and mobile devices have not yet improved workplace collaboration.

SAP ran and analyzed the survey, noting that most companies don’t have the management skills, organizational culture or technological capabilities to fully leverage digital collaboration.

“While technology and software are enabling us to do our jobs better, they are only part of the equation when it comes to collaboration at work,” Hernandez, a Global Vice President of Product Management, Enterprise Collaboration at SAP Labs. “Ultimately, managers will have to use their best judgment on when technology can help address a need to communicate based on factors, including audience, speed, practicality and the need for documentation.”

At its core, Hernandez pointed out that collaboration is an essential human activity and sometimes technology just simply gets in the way.

“While technology helps us collaborate in new ways (i.e. video town halls, real-time chat, virtual workspaces, etc.), it should not change the substance of our conversations,” she said.

SAP’s survey identified that only 16% of companies who responded have effectively deployed digital tools for collaboration.

One of the biggest surprises from the survey was the impact of Millennials who hold management positions on collaboration. They are now shaping company culture and management priorities.

“It’s time to stop ‘preparing for millennials’ because they are already here—in the workforce and leading it. Rather, businesses need to switch gears and begin melding millennial executives into the general group we perceive as business leaders.”

How can you get the most out of Digital Collaboration Technology?

Effective collaboration is about more than just technology, and there are many factors to consider.

Organizational size

As companies grow, their organizational structure becomes increasingly complex. As the number of new functions, products, customers, geographies or other nodes is added to an organization, there is often a need to reassess structure and potentially redistribute responsibility.

Company culture

Yes, two heads are better than one, but be mindful of collaboration for collaboration’s sake. Don’t full employees’ diaries with unnecessary meetings. Be smart about when you call for collaboration.

Address the collaboration need

To be one of the 16% of companies that efficiently use digital collaboration technology, take a step back and address the reasons why collaboration is not working for you currently.

  • Complex operating model – simplifying your company’s structure, governance, accountabilities, and ways of working will significantly reduce unproductive collaboration, liberating organizational time.
  • Align organization – misalignment is a problem when it comes to effective collaboration. As a result, work quite simply does not get done as confusion reigns.
  • Provide real-time feedback – use collaboration in meetings or on email etc. to permit real-time feedback.  
  • Research the technology – choosing the right collaboration technology is key to your success. Take the time to research and understand the growth impact of different technologies on your business.
  • The need – look at the problem that collaboration technology will solve. Is it that your workforce is remote? Has significant growth added new roles?  


The Millennium Alliance is thrilled to present our biannual Digital Enterprise Transformation Assembly, put together by the industry, for the industry. Join us on June 22-23, at The Camby in Phoenix, AZ for a series of executive education roundtables, keynote presentations, collaborative think tanks, educational workshops, and networking sessions will offer industry-specific topics and trends to ensure your company sustains its competitive advantage.

The Digital Enterprise Transformation Assembly will bring together North America’s most prominent technology and business leaders from all major industries. CIOs know there is an explosion of information driving the digital enterprise. Understanding the convergence of mobile, social, and cloud is critical for organizations looking to create opportunities and stay ahead of the competition. It is this convergence that will be the foundation of the new digital world.

This is not just another “Digital IT” event. Spaces are reserved for the best in the business. Enquire about attendance here!

BP Group Chief Information Officer
Costco SVP, Chief Information Officer
Dreamworks Animation Chief Technology Officer
Ernst & Young Chief Technology Officer
Honeywell VP, Chief Information Officer
Jet Propulsion Laboratory Chief Technology Officer & Innovation Officer
Johnson & Johnson Chief Technology Officer
KPMG Global Chief Information Officer
Las Vegas Sands Corp. SVP & Global Chief Information Officer
McKesson EVP, Chief Information Officer & Chief Technology Officer
Merck Chief Technology Officer
MUFG Americas Chief Technology Officer
Panasonic Corporation President & Chief Information Officer
Rent-A-Center Chief Technology Officer
The Coca-Cola Company SVP, Chief Information Officer
USAA SVP, Chief Information Officer




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