Collaboration is nothing new. However, it is becoming increasingly important in the modern world, as we become more connected around the globe. The rise of cloud computing and faster internet connections have enabled collaboration more than ever and so, as such, it’s important that a business has the tools enable it to collaborate effectively.
These can come in a variety of forms, mostly software packages and cloud-based CMS solutions. Of course, it’s wise to first consider the business internet connection and whether this needs to be upgraded in order to effectively collaborate across the world.
Whilst a CMS may not really require you to have a superfast connection, even if it is cloud-based, there are a good few reasons why you might need one. Video conferencing, for example, is becoming very popular with organizations, but is useless with a slow connection.
The same applies to any form of streaming, we’ve all experienced buffering and know how frustrating it can be.
When working on a project, sometimes one employee isn’t going to know everything they might need to. By collaborating with others in different departments, or even offices, skills can be pooled in order to make the project more successful than it might otherwise be.
The term ‘Enterprise 2.0’ is bandied about often these days and basically just means the way that enterprises use modern web tools. These include collaboration tools such as:
- Company wiki
- Social intranet
- Instant messaging
As you can see, the term really applies to everything that goes on internally within a company when it comes to content and collaboration. This is by no means an exhaustive list however, and it should be borne in mind that many of the tools offered by a CMS can be classed as Enterprise 2.0.
The benefits of collaborating on the above are fairly obvious: wikis can be added to by members of different departments in order to give a complete resource for everyone within the company. Social intranets help workers to interact and get to know each other and have been proven to produce a happier, more productive workforce.
Blogging is useful internally for similar reasons to a wiki; if members of staff with expertise in varying fields add to the internal blog, then information for other staff is often at their fingertips.
The beauty of collaboration
Collaboration not only equals a happier workforce, it represents an educated one. This is because it naturally inspires a sense of community within an organization, meaning that employees feel almost like they are a part of a family. Additionally, collaboration allows employees to learn from each other and the bosses.
This has come about even more so since the rise of social media as it has encouraged, almost forced, the business world to become more personalised, rather than full of impersonal red tape and procedure.
Social has encouraged companies to speak to their customers like people, rather than just a means to an end (a sale) and this has eventually carried over to the corporate world as the benefits become clear.
The business world is changing, whether it likes it or not, and soon we will also begin to see companies building bigger communities which can be accessed by mobile by the consumer and workforce. Apps are set to be the next big thing within enterprises and a good CMS can help this come about.
Whilst it’s thought that many enterprises will eventually have their own app stores, this isn’t essential. There are many reputable app developers around who are creating white label apps, which can be added to the company CMS complete with branding and the addition of bespoke content.
Branding is very important to most companies now as it’s recognised that a strong brand is likely to fare better. This is because a brand represents a company’s personality and when done well, a brand can communicate the company ethos instantly to the consumer and employee.
Therefore, collaboration tools within a CMS should be fully branded with the company logos, text, colours and so on, so that it’s uniform across the board. So, if a business with a number of offices is using a CMS, it’s a good idea to ensure that the package is branded so that employees all experience the same view when they login.
This can be done across a wide range of industries and if the company has offices across different countries it provides a common theme to work from. Of course, functionality is even more important, but in today’s world, it pays to develop a strong brand.
Getting back to collaboration, it’s easy to see why it has become so popular if you consider how much technology has changed, even from a decade ago. Gone are the days where emails had to be exchanged and filed away for reference, now everything can be discussed in real time.
Likewise, document sharing is so much easier than it used to be and it’s no longer necessary to shuffle docs backwards and forwards with edits by email or hard copy. A cloud-based CMS will mean that documents and projects can be stored so that they are accessible to everyone working on the project at the same time. This is great news for today’s virtual workplace, which can have employees and partners scattered around the globe.
Video conferencing is again, rising in popularity and has a number of uses for the larger company and small business alike. Not only can it be used effectively for collaboration, it can be used for board meetings, webinars, video content management and more.
Basically, it’s just another tool that today’s enterprises have at their disposal which makes everyone’s job easier and cuts costs. Costly business trips for conferences and meetings can be reduced and productivity increased as workers are capable of doing everything from the office.
Another consideration for using CMS collaboration tools is that employees can work from home, a practice that is also rising in popularity (although there are notable exceptions). With one simple, secure login, an employee can connect to the office and work just as effectively as if he was there in person.
Again, this leads to a happier workforce, which leads to greater productivity and that feeling of being a part of a larger family, which all have the same interests.
It can’t be emphasized enough how much CMS and collaboration tools can benefit an enterprise. They save time and money and lead to better growth for any company which uses one.