Social Collaboration: Why Digital Transformation Is Not Complete Without It

Daisy Hernandez

A valuable attribute of a high-performing organization is its ability to share insights, engage in thought-provoking conversation, and act in the moment of opportunity and risk. When people work across different departments, locations, and time zones, information flowing throughout the enterprise becomes a critical enabler of those capabilities – transcending organizational structure, decision support, and meaningful employee engagement.

Take the digital demands of HR and IT organizations, for example. HR typically wants to streamline the communication of workforce-specific events – including new policies, updates in compensation and benefits, and training requirements – in a manner that reaches all employees. On the flip side, IT is concerned with delivering top-down executive communications securely; assisting leadership in distributing strategic information; and fostering consistent company-wide discussion, understanding, and collaboration.

Although their objectives are distinct, both organizations are likely adopting similar technologies, habits, and cultures to get the job done while communicating with the same audience. By implementing a standard application and collaboration platform, both lines of business can provide the information employees need without the creation of confusion, siloed information, and incomplete visibility and insight.

According to the July 2016 commissioned study, “The Total Economic Impact of SAP Jam,” conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of SAP, a central platform for social collaboration can turn these communication challenges into opportunities by increasing the one thing both HR and IT, as well as the rest of the company, need: employees who have the right information at the right time.

Building a foundation for the digital enterprise vision

Digital transformation means different things to different people and organizations. But ultimately, it is about realigning technologies, business models, people, and processes to generate greater value for the business and its customers. Such innovation cannot happen unless leadership and the supporting workforce are engaged in a single strategy and allowed to access the information they need to act in real time.

The key to delivering a foundation for a digital enterprise is a standard approach that provides greater access to information and people. Forrester Research revealed that social collaboration tools eliminate the cost, time, and effort required to select a social or communication tool for a new initiative. By adopting an enterprise-wide technology across the entire business, everyone understands how to best exchange expertise, share ideas, and update project status at all times.

The efficiency of communication is further magnified when teams span across regions and departments. Since they no longer have to wade through incredible volumes of email and phone calls, employees can make decisions and take action in real time. They can also pull information from other applications into the social collaboration tool to get an accurate, well-rounded view of project status and the business situation. Plus, employees can build a community of expertise that is readily available, as needed.

More notably, travel and associated costs are lower as the corporate culture becomes more cohesive. Communication is more transparent, but more important, the approach mimics how people engage with each other in our increasingly digital lives. As stated by a senior leader who participated in the report, “If you get real information from management – especially in a time of crisis or economic downturn – you get the real version and the negative impact is less.”

Social collaboration and digital transformation: A synergy of unlimited innovation

Even though different organizations may have the best intent to find, implement, and exemplify a best-practice communication model, the results are still the same: lost productivity, siloed information, and incomplete visibility and insight. To realize the full potential of any social collaboration approach, companies must transform every aspect of the business with a cohesive enterprise-wide solution to provide a seamless experience for employees, partners, or customers – even if this technology is a combination of several applications.

Social collaboration platforms support the structure, processes, and culture that enable such digital transformation. Not only will every business area become more open and nonhierarchical, but they will also establish a level of trust that allows cross-departmental communication and information access.

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.”

Daisy Hernandez

About Daisy Hernandez

Daisy Hernandez is Global VP of Product Management at SAP. Under her executive leadership she leads product management and enablement for SAP Jam Collaboration. She is an experience professional who has held several leadership positions with specialties in social software, collaboration applications, cloud computing, enterprise software, agile methodologies and management.