What is the Future of Collaborative Working?

Technology is Key to Workplace Collaboration

Today’s working environment is tremendously different from what is was just a few years ago. Changes, driven by a mobilized, distributed workforce, as well as the proliferation of IT trends like the Cloud and smart devices, have placed an increased focus on aspects such as collaboration. Seen as a key element of workplace creativity, productivity and efficiency, collaboration itself—and the technologies that support it—has also changed the face of business. In effect, organizations are being challenged to bring together their workforce in a streamlined and efficient way in order for them to collaborate. As a result, the role of this supporting technology is critical.

Trends, Technology, and Getting it Right

And with the proliferation of the BYOD trend, more employees than ever before are using their own devices in the workplace, instead of, as well as their company-issued smart phones, tablets and laptops. A further challenge for organizations is integrating these various devices into the company network and ensuring whatever collaboration technology is available—be it software, hardware, video conferencing, interactive flat panels, corporate networking tools or a combination of all of them—is user friendly, reliable, and can easily connect to other devices in the room.

But what is needed to make collaboration a success—part of the corporate culture and a contributing factor to being an agile business? The key here is having the right supporting technologies in place.

Championing Collaboration with the Right Technology

The latest visual collaboration solutions focus on interactivity—largely due to the quality of the large screen displays that enable people to share information in a visual way. And this can be accomplished whether participants are in the same room or in workspaces in different parts of the world. Whatever the industry, supplementing a change in working practices with the right technology will streamline the exchange of information and boost productivity. Collaboration solutions will enable every company to make more informed decisions, reduce costs, engage clients and stakeholders and train personnel—all by making it easier to share information and communicate ideas.

The Backbone of Collaboration

These large format displays or interactive panels essentially form the backbone of any collaboration system and allow for users to actively participate in meetings and gatherings. But what exactly makes up the right technology? For some, the ideal technology would be a front of room display that is fast, accurate and responsive, providing a tablet-like experience. For others, the perfect panel would have a familiar operating system—such as Windows—built into it allowing users to access, manage and create content. Technology like this would also enable users to use apps and software packages they are likely to have on their laptops or PCs, adding a level of ease of use. And, with an Internet connection, users could also log into their web-based email or other accounts—such as Office 365 on the Windows platform—and share content with the rest of the room, or save and share meeting notes, diagrams and creative notations with team members.

Ultimately, the right technology is one that meets the needs of both the business and its employees, but factors like performance, functionality and ease of use will always remain at the top of the list of requirements.

Going Forward

Collaboration isn’t just another word for meeting—all areas of business can benefit from working together in an environment that fosters engagement, focuses on creativity, problem solving and the sharing of information. From sales and marketing teams, to training, product development, and finance, collaboration touches all aspects of the modern organization.

Collaboration can and will have an impact on the organization in terms of its agility, productivity and overall efficiency. And, supported by the right technology, collaboration has the power to be the main driver behind sustained growth and employee effectiveness.

At New Horizons, we’re talking about IT everyday—and not just with a variety of clients, but with leading vendors—about industry trends and real-life challenges. And because of these close partnerships, New Horizons is positioned to help businesses like yours leverage our knowledge experts to discuss strategies, implementation and troubleshooting. Also, if you found this article interesting, helpful or useful, please use the ‘Social Share’ buttons below and spread the word across your networks.

Categories: Collaboration
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NH Learning SolutionsCindy Velazquez

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