Technology in one aspect of collaboration but at the very core of it there is a human element, as its very existence surfaced owing to employees, at all levels, needing to formally communicate with one another. Here in comes the need for not only a CIO but the entire C-suite to walk the talk and lead by example to ensure that employees do not throwaway a collaboration platform as just another technology inclusion which is fine to let go.
Pointing out the significance of participation of the C-suite, Gaurav Sharma, research manager, enterprise computing, IDC India, adds that enterprise collaborative platforms definitely need a commitment from the top and drive its usage across the organization but as against the traditional means of communication, they also need a dual approach of top-down as well as bottom-up, because of the enhanced collaborative capability of such platforms.
“It is very crucial that top level executives of an enterprise use collaboration platforms themselves and I feel that is what the C-suite is actually doing. It is not that they are only directing to do things like this but are also actively participating in such activities and using it,” says Subramanyam Putrevu, CIO, Mindtree.
Siting an example Putrevu adds that today requests for collaboration are coming from all his executives. “For instance perhaps my vertical heads is seeing that a lot of ideas are being generated from his team that demands collaborative efforts within the organization and he wants to quickly bring them on a platform where he can exchange information and then collaborate effectively to nurture the idea and give it shape,” he adds.
On the same plane as Putrevu, Sanjeev Kumar, director & CIO, ApOn India also believes that the C-suit needs to come forward and take decision or at least push IT to bring in such an enterprise class solution within a minimum budgeted costs. “Enterprise class collaboration simplifies many things and its usage go up as natural organic growth, many tangible and intangible gains can be seen for the business, people and digital-work-ergonomics,” Kumar says.
Talking about human element, resistance to change could have been an issues when it comes to success of a collaboration platform, but fortunately according to CIOs that is not the case here.
Putrevu feels that It is not always necessary to change the mindset but he wants to make sure of a collaborative platform's availability on the device of their choice, he feels that this actually makes sure that the collaboration platform is used by one and all, and it automatically becomes a must use.
Gaurav rightly points out that a feeling of purpose is necessary for such platforms to get popular among employees. ”For employees to be constantly able to utilize and strengthen the usage of such platforms, an environment of purpose and engagement needs to be built in where these systems should be seen as ones supporting the cause,” Sharma added.
Like Putrevu, Kumar strongly believes that people already know the importance of enterprise collaboration for work as it brings anytime anywhere concepts and that it is all about placing the entire solution correctly so that decision making becomes objective and easy.
It is true that collaboration platforms does not demand change in mindset if one considers the popularity of something like a Facebook or a WhatsApp. These tools have made the process of exchanging information extremely easy and is also available on different devices. “So, now if my collaboration platform is available in such easy formats, it becomes imperative for employees to use, as they can seamlessly build different groups and exchange information,” Putrevu adds.
“I have seen from my own experience while rolling out five times enterprise class collaboration suite at a very large scale, people take this as a delightful positive change in the organization. It is not mindset issue but approach issue by OEM and respective resellers,” Kumar opines.