The way businesses collaborate internally has changed drastically since the incorporation of technology solutions. Collaboration often occurs in one of two forms, social or enterprise collaboration. Social collaboration can be considered flat collaboration since there is no immediate purpose. Enterprise collaboration differentiates itself from social collaboration because it occurs around processes. Collaborating around a process often involves multiple stakeholders and subsequently multiple approvals. Currently if you want to collaborate on a task, e-mail is the primary method of communication.
There is no doubt that email is a powerful tool; in fact over one-third of the world population will be using e-mail by the end of the year 2019. However, e-mail is not without its setbacks. The constant exchange of e-mails between users can be overwhelming. According to a study, the number of business emails exchanged per user is expected to be approximately 124 every single day. It is fair to say that we are inundated with email. According to a McKinsey report, users spend about 28% of their day exchanging emails and an additional 20% looking for internal information or looking for colleagues that can assist with a task. Many of these emails contain important documents that multiple people may be working on together. This constant exchange between parties can make it difficult to delegate specific tasks in an organized manner. Another issue with collaboration in the workplace is that there tends to be an overt focus on adopting new and complicated technology.
Around 80% of business collaboration efforts are unsuccessful and this is astounding considering the necessity of working together. Increasing efficiency can come from something as simple as removing e-mails as the primary method of task management. Using the right tools to delegate tasks not only increases efficiency, but also accountability because your work is reflected in the finished document. People can see the greatest value in anything when it is simple. The next generation of enterprise collaboration should keep simplicity at the forefront while targeting niche verticals.