Regardless of industry, every organization is going through some form of digital transformation to maximize potential in the connected world. With this comes a culture of change, one where collaboration is central to innovation. This requires information that has to be open and easily accessible to promote teamwork and the flow of ideas.
Innovation is happening at a faster pace than ever before. To flourish business must work on ideas at speed. Collaboration is essential to making the most of business opportunities that arise.
The hurdle, however, is that enterprises are finding it difficult to seek out the right collaboration tools that fit their needs. Employees often end up using a number of collaboration tools, which not only creates confusion, but opens the organization up to the security risks of shadow IT. What is needed to solve this conundrum is an enterprise content management (ECM) solution.
Teams today are often working across time zones on projects, internally and externally with partners, suppliers and customers. They need access to documents 24/7 from any location. For enterprises to become more efficient, and at the same time smarter decision makers, they need to change the way they communicate. Digitized data needs to be centralized, easily accessible based on access levels. This may seem straightforward, but enterprises are still finding it a challenge to put together a collaboration strategy that encompasses their entire ecosystem.
Inadequate collaboration tools are not rare
The most commonly used tools to organize communication are still file directories and email, as the 2018 results of our objective SER market research series ECM Insights reveal. Over half (51 %) of the 1,826 responding CIOs, process managers and IT managers said they use email to share information with decentralized teams. What starts out as a simple file tree grows into a complex picture that loses any transparency.
The same scenario underscores email tools. What I call email chaos is common in enterprises. The result is there is no united image of project data. This in itself is a major bottleneck to both processes and collaboration.
In addition, data stored away in complex folder structures and email mailboxes leaves the door open to it getting forgotten or lost in the system. This again hobbles production processes and can actually result in the failure of projects.
Sharing data in private cloud solutions is like playing Russian roulette
Employees are often impatient when it comes to technology, if they don’t get what they want from the IT department they will go off and source their own solution.
They inevitably use private cloud solutions to share data with external customers and partners under the radar of the IT department. This makes it almost impossible to audit or trace data and creates huge security and compliance issues. ECM systems ensure that these headaches never appear, even when utilized in a cloud environment.
Accelerating digital collaboration with ECM
A universal ECM platform can help enterprises to rapidly create smart applications for digital collaboration. This includes virtual project and data rooms in which teams working across the globe can create, work on and securely share information.
Projects usually include external teams whose input needs to be incorporated into projects. Virtual project rooms are a simple and safe means of integrating external teams into project processes. Teams that otherwise may have had to travel for project meetings can hook up in the virtual project rooms. Team leaders can regulate who has access to what documents in the room, all of which are traceable. Documents, team discussions and other project knowledge can be stored and retrieved as required. This ensures that teams are working with the latest documents and data at all times. Team leaders are automatically notified of document changes, new processes and alerted to deadlines, for example. All of these dramatically improve project efficiencies.
Simplifying teamwork with virtual project rooms
A good example of how companies can promote digital collaboration with external partners is highlighted by a German automotive specialist with suppliers worldwide. To more effectively structure its collaborative work with suppliers, the company connected its centralized ECM system with its supplier portal. The result was a virtual project room that the enterprise set up using the ECM’s collaboration component. The virtual project room serves as a common information source for processes and as a means of sharing documents and multimedia objects. Through the virtual project room, buyers and suppliers have constant access to the most important information from the procurement process.
In the past, collaboration with suppliers took place through email – without automatic deadline monitoring or other tools. The virtual project room has changed all of this, allowing suppliers to independently complete ongoing tasks whenever it suits them best. It also incorporates features allowing for regular certificate updates, post supplier reviews and upload images of tools from suppliers.
This shows that collaboration and ECM create a formidable team that can boost operational efficiency and make the very best of use of data and insight.
For more see:
- What If Leadership Matters In Cybersecurity: Hackers are not main cause of health data breaches
- After another massive Google+ data breach, you should probably delete your profile right now
- Why AI needs ECM to evolve
- These Cloud Services are CTO Favorites
Latest posts by Alexandra Lilienthal
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