Advanced Collaboration Brings More Bang for the Buck

Companies deploying IP-enabled, advanced collaboration tools are realizing significant gains in business performance, according to an extensive study by Frost and Sullivan. In fact, the more advanced their collaboration deployment, the more impact on performance they are likely to realize.

With companies today deploying IP-based applications such as presence, team spaces, document sharing, unified communications, and immersive video conferencing, the researchers wanted to find out how much value they are realizing from their implementations.

One indicator of interest in unified communications and collaboration (UC&C) is growing demand. While 46% of the U.S. companies in its survey have deployed such solutions already, more than 80% of the organizations that have not deployed them intend to do so within the next two to three years.  “IT managers in these organizations cite collaboration-enabled applications in which a worker can launch collaboration tools within an existing software application (21 percent), presence-enabled applications (18 percent), and immersive video (18 percent) as the top UC&C tools they plan to set up in their organizations in the near future,” the report states.

Of those firms that already had deployed collaboration tools, 72 percent stated that they experienced better performance. Where was performance improvement greatest? Innovation (68 percent), Sales Growth (76 percent), and Profit Growth (71 percent).

As part of its research, Frost and Sullivan identified organizations based on their level of collaboration and reliance on collaborative tools:

FrostSullivan-collabchart
What the research firm found (see chart below) is that there is “a continuum of collaboration-driven performance, such that better performance is related to the degree and sophistication of an organization’s deployment of collaboration tools. Lower levels of collaboration technology deployment and utilization are linked with lower levels of performance; whereas high degrees of deployment are linked with higher levels of performance.”

FrostSullivan-collabgraph

Such results, based on a performance index developed by the researchers, indicate that even minimal collaboration capabilities can deliver significant performance gains. However, top performers also tended to be the most advanced in terms of collaborative tool usage.

“Clearly, the deployment and use of collaboration tools impacts organizational performance,” the report states. “As organizations deploy an increasingly sophisticated set of collaboration capabilities, they are able to perform correspondingly better on several top-level business metrics.”

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