E-GuideEvaluating Collaboration Tools toMeet the Needs of IT InnovationMany modern organizations have every piece of softw...
SearchCIO.com E-Guide                        Evaluating Collaboration Tools to Meet the Needs of IT Innovation       E-Gui...
SearchCIO.com E-Guide                           Evaluating Collaboration Tools to Meet the Needs of IT InnovationCollabora...
SearchCIO.com E-Guide                            Evaluating Collaboration Tools to Meet the Needs of IT Innovationsalesman...
SearchCIO.com E-Guide                           Evaluating Collaboration Tools to Meet the Needs of IT InnovationThe Need ...
SearchCIO.com E-Guide                           Evaluating Collaboration Tools to Meet the Needs of IT Innovation"Get peop...
SearchCIO.com E-Guide                           Evaluating Collaboration Tools to Meet the Needs of IT InnovationThe trend...
SearchCIO.com E-Guide                          Evaluating Collaboration Tools to Meet the Needs of IT InnovationResources ...
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Evaluating Collaboration Tools to Meet the Needs of IT Innovation

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Many modern organizations have every piece of software known to man. Yet to create a point of differentiation, each platform should be tailored through collaborative innovation. By uniting departments, encouraging new infrastructures and refocusing IT on strategy, strong concepts and competitive advantages can emerge. But before a concept is enacted, the following must be considered: organization size, the intuitiveness of collaboration tools, ease of integration, change management provisions, and security. This e-guide reviews collaboration tool considerations and three peer success stories.

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Transcript of "Evaluating Collaboration Tools to Meet the Needs of IT Innovation"

  1. 1. E-GuideEvaluating Collaboration Tools toMeet the Needs of IT InnovationMany modern organizations have every piece of software known toman. Yet to create a point of differentiation, each platform should betailored through collaborative innovation. By uniting departments,encouraging new infrastructures and refocusing IT on strategy, strongconcepts and competitive advantages can emerge. But before aconcept is enacted, the following must be considered: organizationsize, the intuitiveness of collaboration tools, ease of integration,change management provisions, and security. This e-guide reviewscollaboration tool considerations and three peer success stories. Sponsored By:
  2. 2. SearchCIO.com E-Guide Evaluating Collaboration Tools to Meet the Needs of IT Innovation E-Guide Evaluating Collaboration Tools to Meet the Needs of IT Innovation Table of Contents Collaboration tools: 6 aspects to consider during evaluation The need for IT innovation leads to aggressive collaboration Resources from Dell Inc.Sponsored By: Page 2 of 8
  3. 3. SearchCIO.com E-Guide Evaluating Collaboration Tools to Meet the Needs of IT InnovationCollaboration Tools: 6 Aspects to Consider DuringEvaluationJay PullurSmoother flow of internal communications, and better teamwork, are the key drivers behindthe adoption of collaboration tools by businesses in India. Collaboration tools can improveproductivity by integrating into existing business applications.Given below are six factors to consider while evaluating collaboration tools.1. Size of your organization: Collaboration tools are required by all types of businesses,large and small. But different businesses have different needs. For instance, speed andinnovation are critical aspects for mid-market companies. These companies have ’peopleissues’. Knowledge-capture is not internalized in their processes. Small companies andstartups usually do not have enough automation or content/document managementsystems. They primarily rely on email and are people-dependent. Hence these players needcollaboration tools that are effective and speedy.On the other hand, large companies that house large, dispersed teams have to deal withinformation gaps and operational delays, which may result in loss of productivity. Hence,they need collaboration tools that can fill up the information gaps and provideimprovements in efficiency and speed.2. User-friendliness of the collaboration tools: Companies employ people of differentage-groups, each with their own work habits. For example, while senior management mayprefer email, mid-management may be more comfortable using social media. A moderncollaboration tool should, therefore, interface with social media platforms, as well as withemail. Only then will those collaboration tools be deemed suitable by users.3. Integration with existing applications: In a company, employees work on differentbusiness applications such as CRM, SCM, ERP, etc. Companies should choose collaborationtools that will integrate well with existing tools and business applications. Social softwarecan help companies use their business applications more effectively. For example, aSponsored By: Page 3 of 8
  4. 4. SearchCIO.com E-Guide Evaluating Collaboration Tools to Meet the Needs of IT Innovationsalesman can quickly communicate a wrongly placed order to his team using a collaborationtool.4. Integration with your company’s work environment: Every company has its ownworking style and culture. Introducing a collaboration tool is like giving it a makeover.The social software should include features to help companies in branding and choosingtheir color schemes to give it a personal touch. These features of collaboration toolsencourage business users to adopt them quickly.5. Have you provisioned for change management?Employee acceptance is important to the success of enterprise collaboration tools. Thebacking of top management is equally important. Employees may also need to be trained touse these tools. So assess if your company has already created a change management planbefore buying a collaboration tool.6. Security: Security features such as assigning role-based access is a must. Anotherfeature to look for in collaboration tools is the ability to create groups. This will help addressprivacy issues to a great extent. For instance, the feature can be critically important to meetthe confidentiality needs of business processes such as compensation reviews.Sponsored By: Page 4 of 8
  5. 5. SearchCIO.com E-Guide Evaluating Collaboration Tools to Meet the Needs of IT InnovationThe Need for IT Innovation Leads to AggressiveCollaborationLaura Smith, Features WriterIt used to be that when business executives needed some new technology, they presentedtheir requirements to the CIO, who worked with IT to research, purchase and implement it.These days, however, most enterprises have an impressive installed technology base, anddoing something new with what they have -- also known as IT innovation -- is the valueproposition."Most institutions have every piece of software known to man," said Will Showalter, CIO atSisters of Mercy Health System, a network of 28 hospitals across four states in the nationsheartland. "When the business presents its requirements, it becomes more about how youcan tailor what you have through innovation," he said.While Showalter was toiling in Chesterfield, Mo., last week, hundreds of other CIOs gatheredin Scottsdale, Ariz., to discuss IT innovation with analysts from Gartner Inc. The Stamford,Conn.-based research firm adopted the concept of creative destruction as the theme for itsCIO Leadership Forum, where the discussions were about how innovation often is thebrainchild of collaborative thinking."We are where we are, with a tremendous investment in resources," said Mark McDonald, aGartner vice president and co-chair of the event. "Its time to focus on finding competitiveadvantage."It might take eating a slice of humble pie for technologists to admit they dont knoweverything about the business; and thats why its important for CIOs to break down thewalls between departments, just as surely as new technologies help them tear down silos ofinformation. Creative destruction involves collaboration so that the best ideas bubble to thetop.Sponsored By: Page 5 of 8
  6. 6. SearchCIO.com E-Guide Evaluating Collaboration Tools to Meet the Needs of IT Innovation"Get people working together, and provide a governing structure," advised Harry Pickett,senior vice president and chief technology officer at Manulife Financial Corp., based inToronto.Creating a different relationship with peers is critical when youre reimagining IT, McDonaldsaid. Also critical is delivering against new commitments. He encouraged attendees toembrace new infrastructure delivery options and refocus IT on the truly strategic.Take the case of an IT employee at W.W. Grainger Inc., an industrial supply company basedin Lake Forest, Ill., who took the initiative and developed a mobile phone application thatconnects with Microsofts Bing search engine so field reps always know whats in stock. "Itsa slight twist in logic -- the recognition that there was something I could do and no oneasked," McDonald said.When CEMEX Inc., a global cement producer, discovered that fewer companies were buyingcement, executives tried to figure out how to contain CEMEXs own costs. The company puttogether a team of people to look at less expensive fuels for making cement. Using socialmedia, the company surveyed all of its 168 plants to understand the use of fuels, identifiedthe top two plants using alternative fuels, ran a webinar and achieved a 5% increase in theuse of alternative fuels company-wide -- within five weeks, McDonald said."The first question should always be, Is there a quick and dirty way to do this?" McDonaldsaid, urging CIOs to achieve growth by doing something different -- preferably, somethingno one asked for. "Results may not get you new resources, but they will give you the abilityto play by new rules."Sometimes business innovation is driven by technology. That was the case with J.R. SimplotCo., a privately held company headquartered in Boise, Idaho, that sells such products asfrozen French fries to McDonalds Corp., and guacamole to grocery stores and restaurants.When the company decided to take advantage of cloud computing, it took the IT resourcessaved (60 people, according to McDonald) and put them into business analyst positions.The long-touted convergence of business and technology is what caused executives atCrossmark Inc., a consumer goods sales and marketing company in Plano, Texas, to hire aCIO from the business side, McDonald said.Sponsored By: Page 6 of 8
  7. 7. SearchCIO.com E-Guide Evaluating Collaboration Tools to Meet the Needs of IT InnovationThe trend extends across such verticals as manufacturing, retail, financial and health care."We have gone to great lengths in our business to understand theres a new paradigm in IThealth care," said Mercy Health Systems Showalter. "Its a realization that technology reallyisnt about technology, its about the ability to transform business."The first opportunity comes with people understanding the process, according to MimiChizever, vice president for claims technology at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., whospoke at the Gartner conference about her companys implementation of Toyotas Leanprinciples for IT. As part of that initiative, Nationwide brings people together from variousparts of the business in a dedicated room during work hours for continuous IT and businessprocess improvement."Probably no single person could describe all the roles in the value stream mapping,"Chizever said. "Great conversations happen, like, Why do you do that?"Sponsored By: Page 7 of 8
  8. 8. SearchCIO.com E-Guide Evaluating Collaboration Tools to Meet the Needs of IT InnovationResources from Dell Inc.Converged Communications: People and Applications in SynchAbout Dell Inc.Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) listens to customers and delivers innovative technology andservices they trust and value. Uniquely enabled by its direct business model, Dell is aleading global systems and services company and No. 34 on the Fortune 500. For moreinformation, visit www.dell.com, or to communicate directly with Dell via a variety of onlinechannels, go to www.dell.com/dellshares. To get Dell news direct, visithttp://www.dell.com/RSS.Sponsored By: Page 8 of 8

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