How Collaborative Business Communications Enable a Democracy of Information
The Importance of Private, Reliable, Secure Business Communications
In our previous installment of this blog series we explored "How Pursuing Digital Transformation Amplifies Business Disruption" This week, in part four of the series, we are exploring the ways collaborative business communications enable a democracy of information throughout an organization.
Part 4: How Collaborative Business Communications Enable a Democracy of Information
Not long ago, the World Economic Forum (WEF) polled nearly 1000 executives and experts from information and communications organizations for an unprecedented study of digital transformation on a global scale. Researchers were seeking perspectives on “tipping points” for technological shifts in society and communication.
What did they find? Confirmation: Digital tech distributes unparalleled volumes of data to more people in more locations than during any other period of human history.
Victoria A. Espinel, advisor to several U.S. Presidents and former WEF chairperson, summarized this way:
“Inventions previously seen only in science fiction… will enable us to connect and invent in ways we never have before.”
As providers of Unified Communications (UC) to enterprises of all shapes and sizes, we found Espinel’s summation compelling. From our own recent research , we have seen that collaborative communications based on digital platforms are transforming the daily routines of businesses across the range of industries.
Everybody, Indeed, Is Doing It (Or They Will Be Soon)
When we polled more than 250 IT managers to understand how their firms use digital communications, we learned most embrace UC tech in some way. In fact, the majority have UC tools more sophisticated than basic email and voice applications:
So, UC not only integrates communications for international organizations, but UC enables collaboration, fueling what business pundits call a “democratization of data.”
Digital Transformation Diffuses Information – and Power – in Organizations
As Brent Dykes , a Forbes contributor, described in one of his columns , two “privileged groups” have handled most business data for the preponderance of the last five decades: “An executive who required data to effectively manage the business...Or, or a data specialist—a business analyst, statistician, economist, or accountant—who gathered, analyzed, and reported the numbers for management.”
Everybody else, Dykes wrote, mostly was exposed to data in a “limited, delayed, indirect, or intermittent” fashion.
Now, he asserted, companies have more data than they ever had in the past. He called information the lifeblood of digital businesses: “As more organizations seek to decentralize decision-making and increase responsiveness, they are seeking to empower more workers by putting meaningful data at their fingertips—essentially democratize the data.”
Democratization of Information and the C Suite
Human factors instigate this cultural evolution in most organizations. Per the “2016 CEO Survey: The Year of Digital Tenacity,” study from IT research firm Gartner, people issues motivate today’s corporate leaders. Gartner canvassed more than 400 senior executives from $1 billion, multinational companies, asking about their “top five strategic priorities.” The majority put “customer” and “workforce” within their highest three.
Democratization of data matters to the C suite, Mark Raskino, vice president and Gartner fellow, reasoned in a CIO Magazine article, as they recognize how it enables “product innovations that matter to customers.” Unifying an organization with a robust stream of data from top management to the front lines supports the delivery of satisfying customer experiences – virtual or otherwise.
Today, when digital business can range from around the corner to around the world, operational efficiency is crucial along two dimensions – developing competitive products and services, and delivering them to customers. Modern case studies illustrate that hurried selection, chaotic implementation and slack management of any type of business application increases expenses and hinders productivity rather than decreasing costs and minimizing complexity.
Collaborative communication solutions are not exempt from this rule. Knowing that people use technology to serve other people determines business success or failure. Despite sweeping digital transformation, what’s most critical about technology is dictated by the people who use it most.
Next, how reliable, secure, private collaborative communications can make a business profitable, productive and progressive.