Way Beyond Intranet: What’s New in the Digital Workplace?
Sometimes we use words so frequently, they begin to lose sharpness of meaning. The word “collaboration” has become one such buzzword in enterprise contexts. Broken down, the meaning is simple: co-labor, or working together. But in digitally transforming organizations, the development and execution of productive, synergistic collaboration practices is anything but simple. In the modern corporate environment, there are as many obstacles to reaping the benefits of collaboration as there are helpful tools. Siloed business units and data, inter-departmental competition for resources and recognition, lack of leadership, and unclear objectives are the most obvious. In multinational enterprises, companies reliant on complex supply chains, and industries where remote work is routine, insufficient technology support is often a significant barrier to efficient teamwork and communication. In the last few years, many specialized software solutions have enjoyed widespread adoption by companies and employees seeking more efficient and user-oriented ways of keeping teams in synch. Slack, Skype, Yammer, and Google Hangouts are a few of the more popular options. Many more specific tools exist for collaborating via videoconferencing and working in tandem on documents, designs, and presentations. Ambitious new platforms like Microsoft Teams are being developed to bring it all together, centered around powerful enterprise chat tools, in an effort to enable integrated digital workplaces characterized by conversational experiences.