Here are several excerpts from an interesting article by Jessica Scarpati, Why some users dread business collaboration tools, feel they waste time:
Unified communications (UC) and business collaboration tools are supposed to improve workflow, unify dispersed groups and breathe life into teamwork.
Despite growing interest among enterprises around UC and business collaboration tools, a recent survey found that 25% of employees “dread” collaboration because of “the amount of time it wastes.” The same survey, however, reported that more than 80% of employees believe “enterprise-wide collaboration is the key to success.”
Should IT be worrying about improving adoption of business collaboration tools?
Enterprises wrongly assume that glitzier UC and business collaboration tools correlate to more dramatic increases in productivity, according to Stephen Prentice, a vice president and fellow at Gartner Inc.
IT pros need to help develop a sound collaboration strategy to ensure that the technology is matched to the business objective, according to Ted Schadler, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research.
Working with business groups to outline a collaboration strategy and roadmap can help enterprises ensure that their investments in UC and business collaboration tools don’t go to waste, according to Sprenger.
“This has to be driven together by IT and business,” he said. “I don’t think IT can really deploy these solutions without very clear business perspectives, very clear business objectives and very clear business support. Just providing technology without guidance and without a purpose is of limited value.”
What IT can do to enhance usage of business collaboration tools
IT’s role in developing a collaboration strategy isn’t limited to flow charts and outlines. UC and collaboration pros should take an active role in application training and shouldn’t assume that most users understand how best to use business collaboration tools, according to Melanie Turek, principal analyst at Frost & Sullivan.
“When companies deploy a new technology, they need to treat it like any other application. If you deployed an ERP or CRM application, you would train people on it. You need to do the same things with your collaboration tools, and a lot of times that doesn’t happen,” Turek said. “End users either overcompensate and then they feel overwhelmed [by the technology], or they do the opposite and don’t use the tools at all and conveniently forget about them.”
Communications-enabled business processes (CEBPs), such as embedding a messaging client within a CRM application, may boost adoption of UC and business collaboration tools, she said. But they don’t quite foster collaboration, Turek added, and CEBP remains a distant goal for enterprises.
“We think CEBP is really where unified communications is going to pay off the most significantly, but right now there aren’t very many organizations that have done anything with that – the main reason being that, frankly, there aren’t a lot of organizations out there that have truly deployed UC,” Turek said. “It’s a really important part of this discussion, but it’s hard to do, and [these are] really still the early days.”