As a full IT resource that creates intranet portals for better enterprise communication and collaboration, we at AAJ are pretty big fans of Microsoft’s SharePoint and just how much it can augment business processes. So, we can’t say we were too surprised to see that SharePoint/Office 365 was ranked as today’s leading enterprise collaboration platform among both business and IT respondents recently polled by Harmon.ie.

While we applaud SharePoint being named the undisputed leading platform for enterprise collaboration, we were dismayed by some other findings regarding the state of IT and business user collaboration revealed in the research firm’s “The State of Mobile Enterprise Collaboration 2014” report:

  • Some 65 percent of IT respondents said they use SharePoint but less than half that amount (30 percent) of business users said the same.
  • Less than 30 percent of non-IT respondents are aware of internal and external collaboration tools.
  • File sharing, updating files, managing tasks/projects and IM are the most common internal and external mobile collaboration activities; however, only one-third of employees are aware of these capabilities within their own organizations.
  • IT respondents said they provide users with mobile access to internal and external collaboration tools at a rate twice as high as business respondents report having access to such tools.

These numbers spell out one thing: a clear disconnect in the perception of enterprise collaboration between IT and business users.

If you feel disconnected from your business users, consider correcting that void starting with the basics:

Talk to your business users: Clear, ongoing dialogue between IT and business users is vital for ensuring a solid enterprise collaboration strategy. Ask yourself: Are the applications or systems you’re investing in truly aligned with stated business priorities or objectives? For example, you may consider customer service a top priority for new IT investments, but only a fraction of your business users may feel the same way. 

Be honest with yourself: Only 9 percent of IT respondents rated their organizations as “laggards.” At the same time, only 21 percent said they consider themselves “innovators” in terms of collaboration maturity. If you fall within the majority of IT leaders who lack collaboration confidence, then it’s time to readjust your strategy; identify what works, what doesn’t, what needs to be improved upon, and how. For example, are your business users leveraging non-secure consumer communication tools like Skype or Google Drive?

If you’re looking for that extra nudge regarding enterprise collaboration, feel free to reach out to our expert team at AAJ—we’d love to see how we can help your ongoing efforts.