Reasons why Social Collaboration is Important to an IT Department and CIO
While many organizations talk about the need for improved social collaboration, many don’t truly understand what it means or how it can positively impact the company at large. The era of social business is here – forward-thinking companies are embracing social technologies as a way to better align key parts of their organizations, and the IT department is driving a lot of these initiatives. There are numerous benefits to bringing collaboration to an IT department, and introducing the right platform can allow both the CIO and IT members to quickly see changes and improvements throughout the entire organization.
To help IT departments and CIOs understand the advantages of social collaboration, Deb Fitzgerald, CIO of Deltek, the company that developed Kona, a leading social collaboration platform, has created a list of the top 10 benefits that social collaboration delivers to an IT department.
#1: Protect network information, while enabling internal and external collaboration in your company: Social collaboration offers individuals, project teams, IT departments and even entire organizations the ability to drive both internal and external interaction in a secure environment. IT benefits from a reduced risk of external individuals having access to the company’s private network. Many professionals are concerned about the possibility of their network credentials being exposed to the public. Secure social collaboration platforms can alleviate these concerns, improving internal collaboration while also enabling external collaboration with partners, customers, consultants and others to occur – which is critical in today’s matrixed world.
#2: Resolve hyper-sensitive issues faster: Utilizing social collaboration software as a team to solve technical problems can result in faster problem resolution. An on-demand virtual space can provide a secure, global environment where ad hoc teams bring together disparate data, brainstorm, and resolve problems. End users can be engaged directly in a space to enhance collaboration even further. Some successful use cases for this include post-cutover “hypercare” support, critical time-sensitive business process support, and underlying problem management where real-time engagement between system experts and end users can streamline problem resolution.
#3: Experience the “pulse” of the issue/project: IT can involve the CIO and other leaders with the issues/projects on which they are working by inviting them to a social collaboration space. The CIO and others can participate in conversations, or even just “listen.” This improves alignment both in terms of message accuracy and timeliness, allowing IT leadership to have a real-time pulse of the activity rather than having periodic status reports, 1-1s, or meetings solely providing activity insights.
#4: Learn faster on pilot projects: Social collaboration software is great for pilot projects. IT can use it to gather feedback, discuss issues, test cases, and provide training materials. The key benefit is the real-time connection among pilot users, along with IT staff. Everyone in the space has visibility to each other’s issues and experience. This leads to faster learning of what is or isn’t working.
#5: Enable “peer support,” a best practice for managing/embracing consumerization: Social collaboration software easily facilitates peer-to-peer communities to enable targeted knowledge sharing and issue resolution via peer support rather than IT directly. As consumerization via “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD)/cloud services places more of a demand on your service desk, social collaboration can help better address the situation. Depending on the technology and what IT wants its role to be, IT participation in the peer-to-peer community can be passive or active.
#6: Streamline company-wide communication activities: IT departments frequently need to send company-wide communications. Before these messages are sent, they often have to go through multiple iterations and approvals, a tedious process that is often made worse when disparate versions of the message are being passed around in email threads with no revision control. Social collaboration is a proven way to streamline message creation and approval processes, increasing IT staff effectiveness as well as end user experience.
#7: Reduce ticket escalation rates: Ongoing knowledge transfer from subject matter experts to first contact teams is critical to minimizing ticket escalation; however, it is often difficult to create a proactive culture for this. Social collaboration both enables experts to easily share information with first contact teams as well as facilitate “ask the experts” type of communities. In this type of social collaboration based community, knowledge sharing doesn’t get restricted to following formal publishing of system documentation or just working the relationships that you know.
#8: Reduce administrative burden in today’s fast-paced world: Many popular social collaboration platforms are too heavy for many team leaders, requiring them to depend on IT to spend time creating a site for teams, putting up a roadblock in the collaborative process. Easy to use, cloud based platforms empower end users and allow IT to enhance, not hinder, the social collaboration process and focus their technical expertise in more value-added areas.
#9: Communication that’s even more private than internal email: Using social collaboration software provides the ability to have private conversations in a way that is different than email. Instead of executives leveraging personal email accounts as an extra level of internal confidentiality for sensitive situations that shouldn’t be exposed to colleagues — including executive assistants and IT teams, it can provide a more secure and effective alternative for both internal and external collaboration.
#10: Reduce frustration caused by individual email inbox limits: Most collaboration happens around large files and email does not support the sharing of these items due to file size and storage limitations. Collaboration in the cloud offers flexible, safe and secure file-sharing capabilities with no size restrictions for the user, eliminating user requests to IT for increased email storage. More people can get involved in reviewing, refining and commenting on shared documents, while large files shared in collaboration platforms are only stored once — rather than multiple times when attached to an email.
Deb Fitzgerald, CIO at Deltek
To learn more about Social Collaboration and Kona <click here>.
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