Everytime I attend one of Gartner’s annual Portals, Content & Collaboration Summits, I know it’s going to be inspirational. Whenever leading industry analysts and business leaders from all over the world gather under one roof, how can it not be?
But when my colleagues and I spent two days last month in London attending the most recent conference, we walked away with an added sense of elation. Why? Because there was a heightened sense of excitement – all around two of my very favorite topics: collaboration and engagement.
The summit title said it all: Engage, Collaborate, Innovate: Thriving in the Digital Enterprise. The discussions were generally focused on how social platforms, mobile and analytics have transformed the ways companies interact with others. Without a doubt, enterprises are capitalizing on incredible opportunities to engage with partners, teams and customers in exciting new ways.
Specifically, the main four conference topics included:
- Workforce Effectiveness. How to increase employee engagement by promoting agility, innovation and modern workspace while adapting to current consumer trends.
- People-centered leadership. The importance of developing management skills for the ever-expanding digital workspace.
- Collaboration initiatives. How to build compelling business cases for such collaboration enterprises.
- User Experience (UX). Focusing on design to deliver exceptional UX across all channels to drive up use and overall engagement
According to keynote speakers Jeffrey Mann and Susan Landry, the one most important element that will determine an organization’s success is the way you engage other people, including employees, customers and partners. However, obtaining a high and effective level of engagement is incredibly challenging.
The good news is that effective engagement is becoming more obtainable through the ever-increasing avenues of social media, ubiquitous mobility and content analytics.
A key component of improved engagement is to expand the efforts and inclusion of company IT departments, which are getting onboard in increasing numbers with consumerization trends. IT department goals for enterprises via collaboration portals, platforms and other technology include:
- Anticipating problems
- Increasing workforce effectiveness
- Transforming business processes so they become agile
- Helping colleagues and “business” people embrace the technologies, methodologies and systems that IT and tech people already work with
- Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and the consumerization of IT is getting to the enterprise. While this has been a trend for some time, there is an expectation that enterprise-level software be mobile-first, and with a user experience and interface that matches consumer products, like Facebook, WhatsApp, Airbnb and Uber. Now there are solutions that are both IT- and enterprise-friendly, but at the same time behave like consumer products, like Eg BOX.
- People expect smooth integrations. Cloud services should “be in the cloud.” meaning they all can share some sort of information to become starter and help employees be more efficient. This tends to make employees more engaged and creative.
- Everyone wants to collaborate. Without a doubt, enterprises are focused on collaboration and finding ways to consolidate disconnected and aging point solutions with collaboration software (like Redbooth).
- The “digital workplace” is expanding. Of course this isn’t news, but some of the main ideas surrounding virtual teams involved:
- Digital. This is an obvious one, but the twist is to think of the digital of tomorrow, including smart machines.
- Content. The things that people do will never change, but the way we work can be dramatically improved.
- Integration. Do not expect users to do integrations. Do it for them, as their expectations continue to increase as more become available.
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