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IT departments looking to improve their company’s overall performance through new business process management tools need to improve communication and collaboration solutions in order to be successful, it has been stated.

Research by Gartner suggested embracing new technologies such as cloud-based social and communication tools can have a key role to play in this. The firm dubbed these tools extreme collaboration (XC) and noted it will be a new operating model for many companies.

Such tools are likely to be particularly useful for businesses that are undergoing significant IT projects to change the way they operate. Processes that need input and approval from multiple departments will particularly benefit from improved communication tools that allow people across a company to work more closely together.

Janelle Hill, vice-president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, said: “Collaboration is a critical activity in many operational business processes, both structured and unstructured.” She explained that an XC environment functions as a virtual hub for this, being available 24/7 in order to help personnel meet shared business goals.

“What makes it extreme is people’s willingness to cross geographic, organisational, political, management boundaries, to pool their collective skills and resources to solve problems and move toward the attainment of a shared, ambitious goal,” she continued.

To achieve success in this area, Gartner suggested that in order to spur collaboration through technology, businesses should select processes current done via traditional methods – such as face-to-face meetings – and encourage people to shift to a virtual, web-based platform.

 

The firm explained these environments are easily accessed from anywhere and are almost always available. “Virtual environments used to host such spaces can range from process collaboration environments to social networks or on-premises collaborative and social media tools,” the company continued.

It was also stated that businesses can use social media tools to help stimulate dynamic collaboration within companies. It suggested one good way to get people involved with XC is to host a “tweet jam” to brainstorm ideas. One advantage this has over a physical meeting is that all contributions are captured and recorded, so there is a clear record of who suggested what.

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