All day, every day, people use Microsoft Teams, Slack, Skype, Zoom and more.
It’s the result of a massive uptick in collaboration software usage in 2020. Zoom was the hottest videoconferencing service of the pandemic, and the company foresees (paywall) robust growth even as pandemic pressures ease. This shouldn’t come as a surprise. In the new hybrid work world, not everybody will go back to the office. That makes collaboration and communication essential.
These well-known enterprise application companies all sell fantastic services. But they all focus on the front end, paying attention to things like whether the mute and stop video buttons work.
Yet they don’t attend to back-end issues such as network connectivity and data center and endpoint equipment performance. They see all of that as an enterprise IT or end-user problem.
However, these back-end concerns play a big role in end users’ ultimate collaboration experiences. At a time in which collaboration is the new normal, the figure-it-out-yourself approach to the back end of collaboration no longer works. Enterprise end-users expect more. For business development leaders, this means shifting focus on end-to-end collaboration experiences.
Address both ends of communications and collaboration.
Remember to address back-end concerns associated with end-user experiences. Ask companies like Zoom how you can optimize end-user experiences for those who employ their applications.
Seek out partners that provide a complete set of software and services that allow you to provide seamless, secure experiences to employees. Consider accelerating your transformation and limit business disruption by choosing modern, cloud-based solutions rather than legacy platforms.
When end users have better collaboration experiences, everybody wins. Application providers benefit from happier customers. Enterprises enjoy greater productivity and fewer IT requests. End users experience less friction and frustration, so they’re happier and can get the job done.
Shift from a reactive to a proactive approach to solving problems.
Be aware that you don’t have to wait for somebody to have an issue. Technology exists today that allows you to identify and fix problems in advance — before users know there’s an issue.
You can leverage real-time analytics to actively assess, analyze and improve experiences across multiple platforms. Use this analytics technology to enhance your IT operational performance.
McKinsey & Co. recently wrote, “Those with an eye toward the future are boosting their data and analytics capabilities and harnessing predictive insights to connect more closely with their customers, anticipate behaviors, and identify CX issues and opportunities in real-time. These companies can better understand their interactions with customers and even preempt problems in customer journeys.” Apply this same approach to employee experience.
Remember that compliance applies to collaboration, too.
Tools like Teams make it easy for employees to create new channels. That’s beneficial. It simplifies the process of creating new channels for end users. The problem is that it also creates the potential for the kind of issues that people face with SharePoint sites. There are thousands and thousands of SharePoint sites that aren’t controlled. There’s no governance around them.
This is problematic because, without governance, you can’t prevent people from seeing things they shouldn’t see in those environments. You can’t control when a person leaves one role within her organization for another and shouldn’t continue to have access to all of those files.
Avoid these issues — and the potential for non-compliance and security gaps — by adopting a framework that helps keep you in compliance. Some digital workplace services frameworks even offer built-in compliance and security capabilities.
Invest in collaboration as if the future of your business depends upon it.
Prior to the pandemic, business applications like Microsoft Teams, Slack, Skype and Zoom were largely considered as nice-to-have tools. Today, they’re essential to how all of us do business.
Understand that you need to measure and monitor these core collaboration and communication applications in the same way that you would monitor a server in a data center. When essential collaboration channels don’t work as needed, businesses can come to a standstill.
People used to regularly do in-person meetings in the office and at hotels and industry conferences. Some of that is resuming. But these in-person meetings will be far more selective.
Now high-performance communications and collaboration tools are more important than ever.