Why collaboration is the key to business agility

With confidence returning to the British economy, it’s never been more important for businesses to be more agile

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‘Collaboration needs to be filtered through the company infrastructure and its origins must lie with the C-suite’

 

Under pressure to foster innovation, work across time zones and attract the latest pool of talent to their business, collaborative technology has become essential to ensure that new services are introduced, businesses remain agile and organisational goals are echoed from the C-suite to graduates and entry-level employees.

Then again, organisations must understand the importance of the IT department. They must see them as a vital part to a 21st century business, not see as the background workforce that keeps their printers working.

As result, businesses need to undergo a cultural change by bringing IT into the boardroom – showing the company that IT is a business-critical service, not a cost centre.

However, the key to business agility lies within an organisation’s ability to collaborate, demand more from its providers, and adopt an IT strategy that enables greater bandwidth, a stable network infrastructure and drive business growth. But, that is easier said than done.

>See also: Mobile collaboration: Bringing new-world communication to the enterprise 

Collaboration is key

Faced with the challenge of supporting a generation of remote and mobile workers, it is important that businesses strive for balance, placing collaboration at the heart of its strategic vision and creating an enterprise that not only increases the bottom line, but also serves to motivate a productive workforce.

Key to this success is making sure that frontline employees, graduates and individual departments have the correct training and skills. Indeed, more than a quarter of corporates identify skills gaps and inadequate training as a barrier to change and business agility.

By educating employees on the importance of digital technology and future-proofing the network, businesses can introduce new capabilities quickly and easily, causing less disruption and maintaining a flexible, agile and productive workforce – aligning with organisational goals and creating an integrated strategy that delivers.

Critically, collaboration needs to be filtered through the company infrastructure and its origins must lie with the C-suite. In fact, obtaining buy-in from the C-suite was ranked as the number one game changer to improve ICT agility.

By setting an example and allowing decision to be championed from the top-down, collaboration agility can be achieved and business growth can thrive.

The crucial role of IT

More than a third of firms admit they under-invest in IT and an over-reliance on outdated technologies can prohibit employees from getting the best out of their existing IT stack. It’s therefore not surprising that the bespoke, hard wire legacy systems coupled with the budget constraints are negatively impacting businesses.

Companies must realise the importance of the IT department and understand that they are not just there for maintenance, but also to deliver business strategy and value. The IT department also needs to take a leadership role by being more customer-focussed and transparent in how they can enable the business.

By acknowledging the IT department’s role as the backbone of any modern business and the deliverer of vital services, technology will have the ability to be developed rather than just maintained.

This can begin with educating employees within the organisation as a whole on how ICT can further enhance their business. In addition, by embracing a ‘quick and often’ approach to new technologies, companies can start to really understand the financial gain that collaboration can bring and save time and money when striving for a reliable network.

The need for agility

The need for reliable bandwidth and stable infrastructure is a necessity for business growth and success, emphasising the importance of C-suite collaboration and IT upgrades.

This is supported by recent research by TalkTalk Business, in conjunction with Ovum, which revealed that 86% of businesses understand the importance of agility, yet four out of five corporations are frustrated by the lack of agility within their organisation.

>See also: Why businesses must let employees choose the collaboration tools they use

Crucially, agility within an organisation can ensure the primary focus is on targets rather than outcomes – creating a more responsive, flexible and reliable system by correcting the current under-par technology and applications.

Essentially, collaboration is the key and agility is the enabler. With over a third of enterprises believing that individual departments are running their own IT agendas, the need for companies to place collaboration at the heart of their strategic vision is even more important.

By bringing collaboration to the attention of the C-suite, companies can avoid business uncertainty and department fragmentation. Furthermore, by creating an ICT strategy that will future-proof their business and create a robust network, organisations will be able to support the bandwidth hungry business applications, meet the needs of the demanding Millennials, and drive the BETA-minded enterprise that will be the lynchpin in the UK’s digital future.

 

Sourced from Charles Bligh, MD, TalkTalk Business