The Collaboration Double Gap

  • UCC deployments are considered to be an important enabler in achieving businesses objectives.

  • Discover the challenges, and drivers affecting the collaboration strategy of organizations in the IDG report below.

In the recent global IDG research survey commissioned by AT&T, organizations listed that unified communications and collaboration (UCC) deployments were considered to be a highly important enabler in achieving their businesses objectives. Is this a ground-breaking revelation? Not really.  Technology vendors, telcos, and service providers have been championing the tangible benefits UCC can bring to organizations for a number of years.

Examining the gap between adoption and vision

In terms of adoption, however, many companies are still at the tip of the iceberg, and here we find our first collaboration gap. Organization-wide UCC is still considered a nirvana state with many deployments currently being rolled out on a departmental or business unit level. The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) explosion and personal enterprise culture has also seen sporadic and fragmented adoption of UCC technologies at an individual level. So why is there such a disparity? It may be due to a number of factors, from lack of budget to a varying appetite for the technology or maybe even something as simple as the organization’s relaxed IT policies and governance. One thing is for sure, there is a gap between organizational adoption and industry envisioning.



Internal collaboration gains a loyal following

The second discontinuity appears in those that have adopted some degree of collaboration. The IDG report highlights that organizations (79% of all respondents vs. 60%) are currently focused on internal collaboration.  At the same time, a growing number are shifting their attention externally as well. Why? Possibly this is recognition that collaborative working really starts to deliver exponential benefits when encompassing the wider eco-system, not just being inwardly focused.

This point is exacerbated in Brazil, where over half of all polled said that internal collaboration is critical to the business.

So what are the drivers that are prioritizing internal over external adoption, and why aren’t we seeing a more uniform use of this technology outside of the organization?

One thought is that some business units are heavily aligned to internal communications and operations, such as human resources and IT. These functions predominately communicate and engage with internal employees and stakeholders with little or no scope to collaborate with external partners. Another theory is that different business units and employees are operating at different levels of UCC maturity. Communications-centric business functions, such as sales and marketing, may be more susceptible to embracing these technologies than other more process-driven departments, such as legal or finance.

Looking outward: the shift to external collaboration

Additionally, and a factor that is sure to impact this disparity, is that more and more digital natives (Generation Y and Millennials) are entering the workplace. With that trend comes the expectancy that UCC technology and the collaborative, mobile, virtual-working culture are “new normal.” This shift is certain to continue; will we see the gap between internal and external collaboration close?

To discover the other key themes, challenges, and drivers affecting the collaboration strategy of organizations, download the full IDG report here.

The Networking Exchange Blog Team About NEB Team