Enterprise collaboration at its most basic level comes down to how a large organization communicates. It includes the various technologies and platforms that individual members of the organization rely on to discuss work, deliver feedback, and cross-pollinate their ideas. But it also refers to a company's culture and how your company's values assist or impede the exchange of ideas and information.
Why is Enterprise Collaboration Important?
In an Inc.com article, Wrike CEO Andrew Filev points out two undeniable benefits of collaboration:
- By collaborating internally via social tools, wikis, videoconferencing, and more, you increase productivity.
- By collaborating externally with customers, partners, and vendors via user forums, blog comments, social media, live webinars, conferences, and meetups, you gather feedback that increases innovation.
It makes sense that enterprise-wide collaboration as well as external collaboration with stakeholders improves efficiency and effectiveness. When communication channels are open, it's easier to find the information you need, or turn to colleagues and customers for feedback and assistance.
But in addition, collaboration helps organizations meet top business priorities such as improving business processes and reducing enterprise costs. The Aberdeen Group surveyed 299 organizations and discovered significant benefits of enterprise-wide collaboration:
- 53% improvement in customer service metrics
- 49% improvement in workforce productivity
Enterprise Collaboration Starts with Culture Not Tools
In the past decade, the number of enterprise collaboration tools has exploded. But although they're beneficial tools, they're not an out-of-the-box solution for an organization hoping for immediately efficient teamwork. After all, any technology that promises collaboration cannot bring about change on its own. There has to be a simultaneous shift in internal culture — from individual silos to transparent and generous sharing of ideas and resources. That shift doesn't happen overnight. It has to be something that your organization works at every day in the processes it puts into motion and in the policies it enforces.
One way to move toward enterprise-wide collaboration is to get teams accustomed to sharing information within a collaboration platform. Set up a software platform so that file sharing and discussions can be exchanged without getting lost in long email threads. You'll have to take baby steps to get individuals to voluntarily share their workloads, upload the files they're working on, comment on best practices, and even draw in other people into their projects for cross-team collaboration. But once something as simple as a habit of sharing information becomes ingrained in the company's culture, it becomes easier to build processes for wider collaboration between teams in the enterprise.
Your organization doesn't have to jump head-first into doing everything collaboratively. Start by creating space for individuals to connect within the organization and grow an idea quickly, with shared resources. It's about building an enterprise-wide framework for productivity, innovation, and velocity.
Wrike can help your enterprise organization improve collaboration across all of your teams. Start a free trial today and try it out with your team.