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September 7, 2022

Are Your People Using Collaboration Tools in the Right Way?
  • Software procurement is C-level executive decision.
  • IT Managers should be able to describe the value proposition of any software purchase.


Healthy teamwork and effective collaboration are key ingredients in any company’s long-term success. But many companies struggle to find—and use—the right software to unleash their potential to meet and exceed clients’ expectations.

When it comes to collaboration and communication software, there is a diverse range of options for helping organizations achieve high-velocity teamwork, best-in-class productivity and seamless digital resource management. The proliferation of smartphones and tablets at every price-point has opened a world of intuitive, cross-platform, user-friendly apps to a growing audience of non-techie consumers.

For asset storage and sharing, a number of popular services provide enterprise-level capabilities, including secure management of sensitive or confidential information on your own servers. For boosting team productivity, a range of robust remote desktop applications work well with existing desktop setups, and several vendors provide apps for access to corporate servers.

One robust option, Microsoft Teams, acts as a virtual hub for your software-assisted productivity environment, allowing organizations of almost any size to group chat, voice call, video conference and work collaboratively, all in one place. By taking the stress out of conference calls, and allowing companies to access, share, and edit Word, PowerPoint and Excel files in real time, Microsoft Teams has for some time topped IT managers’ lists of corporate collaboration and communication software solutions.

However, as always, significant challenges to successful implementation remain. Fuzzy goals, weak strategy, inappropriate technology, undervaluing people, and lack of leadership involvement can undermine your best efforts.

In particular, leadership support can mark the difference between an IT manager making minor adjustments to localized systems and a chief executive officer or chief technology officer looking at the organization as a whole to determine what effects changes will have on the business itself. In most organizations, the CEO and chief financial officer are usually the ultimate decision-makers, although depending on the nature of the business the chief operations officer, chief technology officer and chief information officer may be highly influential.

“IT managers need to be able to express to C-level execs in clear business terms the aim and benefits of the software implementation, the expected outcomes and the implications of action and inaction—especially the financial ramifications,” Jasper Kraak, Solution Architect at Inova, said.

The CEO is primarily concerned with the overall alignment between the organization’s macro-strategic agenda and its impact on the bottom line. The CFO is concerned with managing finances, overseeing accounting and information systems, monitoring capital equipment assets and balancing taxes and other regulatory risks to the corporation. The chief operating officer is responsible for overseeing property, plant and equipment, managing the work force, and purchasing client services and information technology. CIOs and CTOs are responsible for establishing and maintaining corporate technology environment, including software and software systems integration, procurement and utilization of hardware and software assets and support for business development.

“For C-level execs, the real obstacle isn’t buying the right software but buying into how that software changes the way that the whole organization works. So the real question isn’t whether they’ve bought the right collaboration solution, but whether they’re using those collaboration tools in the way that maximizes value for their whole organization,” Kraak said.

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