Large firms are overestimating their current ability to deliver collaboration across their businesses, according to a survey from Microsoft’s IT consultancy.
Although 95% of companies place e-mail at the heart of their digital collaboration strategy, this is not what collaboration is about, says Microsoft consultancy Avanade.
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Avanade commissioned an independent survey of 400 firms employing more than 10,000 people and found that e-mail and intranet sites were the most widely cited collaborative platforms used by firms.
In addition to 95% citing e-mail, 93% said intranets were tools for digital collaboration, described as standalone communications tools by Avanade.
The survey found that only a minority of businesses have invested in integrated collaboration applications such as shared workspaces and enterprise search.
The research also found that 58% of enterprises across Europe and
“Digital collaboration is about connecting people with people and people with information. Enterprises are confusing communication for collaboration,” said Adam Warby, general manager for Avanade Europe.
“E-mail, websites and conference calling are the backbone of sharing information between colleagues and stakeholders, but this is only the starting point of true digital collaboration,” said Warby.
These tools are ideal for pushing information out and communicating directly with many audiences, but they lack the ability to pull information together intelligently from different corners of the business – both internally and with external stakeholders such as customers and partners, he said.
The research shows that only 19% of enterprises have a complete collaboration strategy that is fully documented and implemented across the organisation.
Collaborative technology that will see the highest increase in investment in the next two years, says the survey, includes voice over IP (predicted to grow by more than 60%), virtual workspaces (to grow by 50%) and enterprise search tools (45%).