Social Collaboration: A Secure, Cost-Efficient Path To Digital Transformation

Steve Hamrick

Every CIO’s worst nightmare is waking up to headline news broadcasting their company’s critical business data was lost or stolen. Unfortunately, CIOs are a no-win situation. Business units are demanding more from IT than ever before. And if IT is ever viewed as an inhibitor to business success, individual business units may elect to diverge from officially endorsed systems and solutions – putting an entire company’s critical business data at risk. That deviation from IT-supported solutions makes a potential nightmare headline about lost or stolen business data an even more significant possibility.

For example, it’s not unusual for businesses to turn to cloud collaboration apps and solutions such as Dropbox, Slack, Google Docs, WeChat, and WhatsApp. At face value, many organizations and business unit leaders believe that it makes sense to adopt such free and freemium-based applications that enable collaboration to get work done. However, CIOs and IT organizations view the adoption of free unsanctioned collaboration solutions as a potential liability that leads to critical business information and data that is stored in silos, compromised security, and unpredictable operational costs.

CIOs should do more than selecting technology based on a checklist of requirements. They need to assess how people – workers and consumers – are taking advantage of technology, what risks they’re introducing, and which solutions can enhance the employee experience.

Deliver social collaboration that won’t break your CIO’s budget and investments

It’s generally well understood that a connected workplace is a more productive workplace. At the same time, every CIO wants to do what’s best for everyone in the company – from the CEO to the store associate – without putting the company data at risk. But is it possible to ensure that business data and systems are protected while driving lower IT support costs, too?

According to Forrester Consulting’s 2016 study, The Total Economic Impact of SAP Jam, an enterprise-wide social collaboration platform may be the answer to these challenges. In the report, Forrester Consulting revealed that centralizing social collaboration not only helps employees find and share information with the ease and speed they need, but also decrease costs and security risks typically associated with conventional software and business processes such as onboarding new hires, training users, and responding to support issues.

Is a social collaboration platform the best choice for your business? Check out these results from the Forrester Consulting report to find out.

20% reduction in license fees from redundant, poorly adopted collaboration tools

Whenever ad hoc tools are used in pockets of the business, there are at least two or three that are used the same way and/or provide the same functionality. All too often, they are used for only one project or just a few months before the team moves to another popular application.

Granted, there may be reasons why a line of business may not be fully consolidated with the platform, such as varying geographies and unique collaboration needs. But if most employees access the same social collaboration platform that embraces the latest and popular technology, an organization can save upwards of 20% annually. This social network can provide a unified work experience that every employee craves – bringing together people, processes, information, and applications needed to engage in productive problem-solving, decision-making, skills development, and innovation. Delivery as a single, secure, cloud-based foundation across the business and all functions eliminates organizational silos and ensures everyone has everything they need to drive impactful business outcomes.

15% decrease in time to access information and expertise means higher adoption

While IT runs best with greater simplification and system security, an enterprise-wide solution will always result in low adoption if it isn’t compatible with workforce needs and behaviors. The most compelling benefit from a social collaboration platform is the ability to get information when and where it’s needed – without disruption.

In the Forrester Consulting study, employees saved a significant amount of time without having to search for information and expert advice hidden, in high volumes of e-mails. Plus, increased efficiency is magnified when teams cross geographic and departmental boundaries. By collaborating socially through one source, employees can get the expertise and answers they need to get the job done without delay.

Social collaboration: Building the digital enterprise through a culture of sharing

It’s no secret that organizational culture guides the behaviors and technologies adopted to get work done. In fact, most CIOs and their fellow IT decision makers are keenly aware that social collaboration tools – whether short-term mobile apps or long-term software – are playing a dominant role in how employees work together.

This new reality shows us that the workforce is more open than ever to digital transformation. More important, employees won’t wait for an enterprise solution; instead, they will find a way to do what they need, even if a variety of unintended consequences puts the business architecture at risks.

Isn’t it time that your entire business follows the same path to digital transformation? Find out how an enterprise social collaboration platform can help your business tap into this growing popularity of digital work styles. Read the Forrester Consulting study The Total Economic Impact of SAP Jam.