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Organisations must stop asking what technology does and start identifying workstreams.
For years, organisations have looked at technology and asked: “what does it do?” And the answer is always irrelevant until you know what you want to achieve. Now more than ever, it’s critical to start at the end before defining the journey, asking four key questions to deliver successful collaboration in the post-COVID-19 era.
There has been a lot of talk about remote working since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the most common response is a tactical solution to an immediate problem. Even organisations with a collaboration strategy were largely unprepared for the impact of COVID-19 and it’s likely business will not go back to where it was before.
Collaboration is about more than just real-time communication. Organisations need to now identify what their workstreams are and ask their people: “How can we help you do your job better?” Key to delivering successful collaboration post-COVID-19 is the ability to answer these four key questions:
- 1. What are my workstreams?
- 2. How do they work?
- 3. How can we improve them?
- 4. How can we wrap this technology around it?
Lots of organisations have found themselves in the same position of having kneejerk reacted with Microsoft Teams or similar. Now they must work backwards to understand what the potential is. Everyone has a camera; everyone has a microphone – and in the heat of the moment many organisations, understandably, were reticent to expose themselves to risk and left the potential unexplored.
Microsoft Teams can be many different things, from a basic communication tool to the thing that underpins your entire collaboration strategy. However, with no defined strategy and little understanding of your workstreams, it is impossible to understand how the technology can wrap around your business and improve it.
The conversation typically starts around meeting rooms. But the first thing any experienced partner will ask is what your people use in the office? There is little point in a next-gen meeting room if the organisation can’t use it. Instead, we will look to evolve with a superset of your existing desktop tools whilst talking to the people doing the work to understand how they feel it can be done better.
The importance of defining the journey
The truth is, it doesn’t matter where the conversation starts – you’re going to need to ask all these questions anyway. At SCC, we won’t ever sell a solution without knowing what you’ve asked for is what you need. We’ll start at the end game and help you define the journey.
We do this by understanding where you want to be in 3-5 years and what we need to do together in order to get there. In the post COVID-19 era, this is a significant consideration. Irrespective of what happens with the virus, it’s likely business will never go back to where it was before. Indeed, at most, many organisations will only welcome back around 35% of people back into the office at any one time.
This calls into question the amount of office space organisations have and, critically, the function of the office in the future. For example, many organisations will now have more PBXs systems than people in the office. Offices should now be collaborative spaces, changing the technology and even the furniture that needs to be in the room.
It’s our belief that there is no so-called ‘new normal’ – because there is no normal. By asking those four questions and truly understanding where you want your business to be going forward, we can deliver collaboration solutions that create a business so flexible, events such as COVID-19 no longer matter.
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