With the support of HP Canada, InsightaaS has delivered a new whitepaper that analyzes the connection between collaborative solution success metrics and key business issues and drivers.
“The Importance of Being Well-Connected” starts with the premise that since measurement drives behaviour, analysis of the metrics used by businesses to evaluate the success of their collaboration initiatives should provide guidance on where IT and business professionals should focus as they build collaboration strategies. Working from rich data gleaned from a Techaisle survey of 635 Canadian IT and business professionals, InsightaaS delves into the differences in focus demonstrated by companies with different contexts and business objectives. The final analysis finds that there are five keys to creating a well-connected business, and that collaboration strategies will reflect these key issues in different proportions, with priorities defined by company size, organizational priorities, and the position (IT or business management) of the individual evaluating the success of the collaboration initiative.
The whitepaper starts by evaluating similarities and differences in the collaboration success metrics used by smaller (1-99 employees) and larger (100-999 employees) companies. The data shows that businesses in both e-size categories agree that speed of response to customers and prospects is the most important measure of collaboration solution success, but finds that larger and smaller firms differ in other respects: larger companies also consider business decision accuracy to be a key measure of collaboration success, while smaller firms are much more likely than larger organizations to use ‘counting stats’ such as number of conversation views, comments or topics as a collaboration evaluation criterion.
The whitepaper then digs into some of the issues that define perspective within smaller and larger firms. A comparison of business decision makers (BDMs) and IT decision makers (ITDMs) finds that there is a gap in the priority that they place on many metrics, especially within larger organizations. The “key takeaways” from this analysis includes the observation that “BDMs in mid-sized and larger businesses are especially focused on collaboration success metrics rooted in business-relevant outcomes — more so, in all cases, than their IT department colleagues,” and urges IT to avoid the temptation to ‘split the difference’ and instead embrace the BDM perspective: “As difficult as it sometimes is for IT to accept, when it comes to emphasis on business-relevant outcomes, the perspectives of business unit management — the BDMs — are of primary importance.”
The section of the report entitled “Connectedness and business success: key collaboration metrics within growth companies” adds detail to the demographic analysis. It isolates firms that are anticipating high growth from those anticipating low or moderate growth over the next three years, and examines differences in the success metrics used by each group. Interestingly, the high-growth group is much less focused on ‘counting stats’ and cost than low/moderate growth firms, and substantially more interested in driving broad internal participation in the collaboration solution. Another section of the report looks at collaboration success metrics used by firms with one of five business objectives in common: attracting and retaining new customers, increasing business growth, reducing operational costs, keeping pace with the competition, and improving workforce productivity. In each case, readers can identify the metrics that are best aligned with their internal corporate priorities, further clarifying the connection between collaboration success measurements and their own business situations.
The whitepaper closes by identifying five keys that, in various proportion, are important to all managers who are seeking to align collaboration metrics with strategies and solutions. Based on the research presented through the course of the 14 page report, the keys include:
- The technology platforms must include support for both external and internal communications
- The scope of the project should be as wide as possible
- Integration of collaboration with business processes is important to overall success
- IT needs to understand and manage the objectives and perceptions of BDMs
- Metrics can — and should — reflect overarching business objectives
“The Importance of Being Well-Connected” provides detailed analysis of how collaboration success metrics are aligned with e-size, with business priorities and with different roles within the business. It includes key takeaways in each section that can be used to apply report findings directly to collaboration initiatives. The report is especially aimed at Canadian IT and business managers in firms with 1-1000 employees, but is applicable to organizations in other regions and/or of other sizes. It is available for free download (registration required). To access the registration form, please click here.