The Digital Office: So Many Cloud Apps, So Little Time

January 19, 2016

Most of us now have around 30 apps on our smartphone – and we’re spending about 65% more time using them than just two years ago. (Source: Neilson.) We’re also bringing these cloud apps to work, adding to the plethora of office tools we already have.

The typical office today already uses a wide variety of apps and services assembled from the cloud. It’s not rare for a company to employ a suite of office tools such as Yammer, Chatter, Box, Slack, Google Apps and/or Office 365. Few if any of these are integrated, and the situation becomes even more complex when workers “bring their own.”

The new cloud collaboration tools just keep on coming, including Enterprise Social Networking software (ESN), meant to increase the flow of ideas amongst employees. Although there’s great potential, typical adoption tends to peak quickly and then drops like a rock. According to Gartner, about 80% of social business efforts won’t be successful due to a number of factors, which include lack of business goals, executive participation, and integration with other tools.

Point being, all these disparate technologies that are meant to tie us together at work are in many cases overwhelming us. The current state of enterprise communication and collaboration is fragmented, and is actually starting to interrupt our daily workflow.

However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. These new social and digital tools do in fact create opportunities to engage with each other in real-time, speed up the exchange of information, and ultimately increase productivity – but only, it turns out, when closely integrated. There’s a difference between “social media” and “social business,” according to McKinsey. Social technologies that are highly integrated within business processes have the most success and significant impact. It’s this deep integration of specific tools into the company’s existing processes that yield the most benefits.

Workers today have more tools for interacting and engaging than at any other time in history. Driving a successful communication and collaboration strategy across the organization isn’t easy, and requires a lot of planning and critical thinking on what you want to achieve. This may even mean eliminating some existing tools, and focusing on simplifying and integrating a few of the best.

The data consistently shows that good communication can have dramatic consequences in terms of business results.

This article was originally published on Broadsoft.

The typical office today already uses a wide variety of apps and services assembled from the cloud.

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