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Digital Transformation – how collaboration is the secret to success

3 May 2019

IT isn’t the same as it was 10 years ago. Besides traditional tasks that keep your organisation running, you’re asked to spearhead digital initiatives to make your business more relevant and competitive. And you’re not alone; in enterprises around the world, nearly a third of projects in the IT pipeline relate to digital transformation (DT)1.

By 2021, it’s estimated that global spending on DT will exceed £1.53 trillion annually.² Still, a McKinsey survey reveals only 12% of stakeholders believe their IT organisation is very effective at leading digital transformations across the enterprise.³ Only 12%! Now that’s a rather disheartening stat, isn’t it?

So, given the focus needed on strategic initiatives, just how can IT leaders break down the barriers to DT success? When it comes to transforming the enterprise and boosting the bottom line, it’s clear that one of the biggest ‘must-haves’ is that better collaboration between IT and the internal corporate customer (or Line-of-Business) is needed. Forward-thinking IT teams are already getting buy-in from parts of the business beyond IT. In fact, 39% of firms now get significant input from LOBs when defining a digital strategy.4

But aside from needing an open and engaging work culture, the best way Line-of-Business leaders and IT can work together is by using intuitive, connected tools and virtual meeting spaces that support greater collaboration. Ironically, it’s IT who’ll need to lead on making this happen, before they can turn attention to pressing DT initiatives.

Something that has proven to be very successful in DT is the use of Agile development techniques to transform both the business process and underlying technology. The best way to achieve this is by bringing together multi-disciplinary teams in real-time. The Agile methodology requires a continual iteration of improvements and therefore a continual periodic input from teams in different locations, often working on different availability times.

Yet wanting to work better together, and being able to work better together are two very different things. Over 85% of companies now operate a “virtual workplace” and on average a quarter of employees work remotely. That’s a huge number of people who no longer commute into an office every day and, in fact, their office is wherever they are in the world.

It's immensely difficult for many organisations to embrace agile ways of working when their technical team is in one location and their frontline staff is in another. Bringing people together in a single room with a whiteboard to test and develop ideas is the obvious way to create new concepts, but how can you do this when your stakeholders aren’t even in the same building? This can only be achieved with modern collaboration teams that combine persistent chat and simultaneous document collaboration with more real-time facilities like video conferencing.

In our modern ‘work-from-anywhere’ expectation, we want frictionless connectivity with our colleagues from the device of our choice. We want to share a document in OneDrive with our supplier, update the internal team on project status in a Slack channel, upload files to Dropbox and video conference our colleagues in Sweden. All in real-time, all seamlessly from our phone or laptop.

And this isn’t unreasonable, is it? The modern workplace no longer rigidly sticks to ‘9-5’ (a completely unknown term to most digital natives who have grown up with advanced technology at their fingertips) so why can’t our business tools work the same way our personal ones do – highly personalised, always on, instantly available?

And if this means we can satisfy the demands of our internal corporate customer, and drive successful business transformation, then providing spaces to create opportunities and collaboration feels like the best place to start.

Cisco Webex teams from Ideal works the way your team does– intuitively, collaboratively and in real-time so could help you on your digital transformation journey. Interested in learning more? Take a look here. 



1 https://www.informationweek.com/strategic-cio/it-strategy/digital-transformation-has-a-digitaldivide/d/d-id/1332459

2 https://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS43381817

3 https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/digital-mckinsey/our-insights/its-future-value-proposition

4 https://www.information-age.com/5-ways-modern-workplace-changing-123469031/