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From Siloed to Integrated: How Tech Can Create More Collaborative Teams

A survey conducted by BambooHR found that 31% of employees left a job within the first 6 months. Many of them left due to lack of communication or organizational support.

Over time, teams outgrow company resources. When this happens, department heads reach out to an IT leader for a solution.

IT executives must then start evaluating what technological solutions will work for the current and future operating environment. Once the IT executive evaluates alternatives, organizational leaders must decide how to move forward: buy a pre-packaged solution or a custom-built one.

These two choices, however, typically present a new set of problems.

Breaking Down the Wall

The natural propensity is to gravitate towards the familiar results in siloed business units. As responsibilities grow and staff members try to do more with less, they become less cognizant of how their work fits into the overall picture – thus, a silo is born. Resultantly, productivity suffers due to lack of coordination, misinformation and follow-up.

Poor customer service is an often overlooked, and quite possibly the worst, side effect of siloed operations.

A technology upgrade is the obvious solution. However, acknowledging the problem is one thing. Fixing it is another.

Same Team, Different Goals: How Did This Happen?

Over time, marketplaces change, and internal teams and processes evolve to meet those demands. As this happens, companies outgrow many of the resources that serve them reliably. Meanwhile, communication between teams diminishes as different departments struggle to fulfill their roles using software resources that can no longer support an expanding workflow.

Employees often make up for technology shortcomings by completing tasks manually, leaving little time to coordinate work with other business units. As this occurs, silos emerge. As business units focus intensely on fulfilling their obligations, the goals of different departments start to depart ways. Eventually, productivity falters as enterprise teams lose sight of their primary objective.

Aubrey Spath, Senior Solutions Architect at Soliant Consulting, states, “As a Business Solutions Architect, I see a very common problem related to software development for workgroups. My team and I call it the Workgroup Conundrum. It defines the struggle for all teams in an organization to get what they need from existing internal systems. IT then must start considering a new application to help this department accomplish their goals and increase efficiency. The first question they ask is, “Do we purchase something off the shelf or build something ourselves?” The former is often less expensive but may not fit the exact needs of the workgroup, exacerbating the issue. The latter can be expensive and time-consuming, draining resources from all teams involved.”

Productivity problems are painfully obvious in siloed workplaces. Enterprises that have outgrown technology resources typically find that employees spend most of their time manually completing tasks that account for only one-fourth of overall output.

Inevitably, executives step in to fix the problem. However, company leaders must ensure that new technological solutions reunite communication between business units while at the same time help the organization continue to achieve its ultimate goal.

In many cases, company leaders recognize that off-the-shelf solutions can’t deliver on a fully collaborative work environment. In this scenario, a customized solution is the only viable alternative. However, figuring out which platform to use can prove challenging.

Promote the Best Outcome Possible

When launching a technology improvement initiative, executives must consider several key points. It’s essential to choose a capable technical architecture to support current and future workflows. It’s also important to designate a point person for each department.

Throughout a change initiative, regular meetings are a must. However, it’s important to keep sessions brief and concise. During the meetings, it’s essential to express the company’s mission, as well as how each team contributes to achieving that goal. This statement helps internal stakeholders visualize how their work contributes to the success of the organization.

Today’s employees work across a range of devices. It’s important to seek solutions that provide the best user experience possible, whether an employee uses a desktop, laptop, smartphone, or tablet.

Furthermore, end-users need personalization. However, a new development resource loaded with an abundance of features can prove overwhelming and nonproductive. Therefore, it’s better to choose a solution that workers can pare down to the bare essentials and then add features as needed.

By selecting a customizable solution, executives promote faster adoption of new technology. The sooner employees embrace the new technology, the quicker the organization will see results.

Finally, integration is critical. The new technology should enable internal stakeholders to combine information from various systems into a unified dashboard.

By partnering with a trusted and experienced third-party, executives can save time, money and resources. An expert consultancy knows firsthand what it takes to uplift an organization to a new level of unparalleled productivity.

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