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Digital Collaboration

How people and businesses communicate simply and simply communicate

In a series of studies, the IDC has identified four factors as critical in strengthening resilience and securing business continuity. Three key aspects are transparency, value chain diversification and agility. But the IDC analysts ascribe the greatest significance to a fourth: Collaboration. Read on to learn what challenges the digitalization of collaboration holds and what questions you will have to ask to find your specific solution.

Organizational development is the only way to go

Many innovative ideas and process improvements have their origins in your company’s coffee nook. Small wonder, because this is a casual setting where staff members from all your units can meet and mingle freely.

This fact pertains to an important task for your organizational development: Letting people and institutions work together freely and easily reduces redundancies and improves productive yield.

Effective collaboration also adds value by quickly linking information with decisions and activities. This increases your chances of staying afloat in times of crisis.

Viewed from this angle, collaboration is an investment in resilience. In the face of a variety of crisis scenarios and volatile markets, secure, scalable and digital processes gain special significance for collaboration.

CENIT therefore encourages businesses to address collaboration as a strategic topic.

What questions should we be asking about digitalized collaboration?

The following questions may arise when we consider the different dimensions of collaboration:

Individual employees:

  • What is the quality of collaboration among colleagues? Can they handle joint tasks jointly and in real time?
  • Is collaboration equally efficient when some or all team members work remotely?

In-house aspects:

  • Is collaboration across business units well established? Does the type of collaboration reflect your need for connected workflows?
  • Is innovation organized and embedded as a cross-unit task? Do your employees receive digital support? Do their results feed into your regular workflows?
  • Is your collaboration consistently digital? Are all relevant IT systems integrated to serve that purpose? Do you have a digital backbone to manage cross-unit process handling as well as data enhancement and provision?
  • Does your entire workforce, from your management to your case handlers, have real-time access to the information they need (analysis, decision-making, processing, controlling)?

Cross-Enterprise:

  • Is your collaborative product development with your suppliers and R&D partners productive? Does your IT support your IP concept?
  • Can your business participate in supply chain collaboration networks? Can incoming information be forwarded and processed automatically and in real time?
  • Has your business designed and digitally prepared processes that let you participate in transaction platforms?

Clients:

  • What is your clients’ experience when they interact with your business? Do they feel that requesting or submitting information is problem-free?
  • Are specific requests procesClosesed as information for your internal processes?

According to Professor Yuval Harari (“Homo Deus”), the success story of homo sapiens is rooted in our unique ability to collaborate in very large, anonymous groups. I hope we will be quick enough to learn how to use the new digital collaboration potentials not just for the benefit of our businesses, but also to protect the basis of our existence – beyond all egotistical interests. That would be truly sustainable digitalization, in the best sense of the concept!

Horst Heckhorn
Senior Vice President SAP Solutions

Promoting collaboration as a value-adding factor

The good news first: With the capabilities contained in today’s IT systems and their cloud and AI applications, you can precisely align all aspects of collaboration with your specific business goals.

The challenge lies in finding your optimal approach to digitalizing collaboration, and in consistently pursuing the path you have chosen. We stand ready to act as your Trusted Advisor in reaching your goals.

Let us use technology as a tool but put people at the heart of digital collaboration. That’s what our future should be about: Creating humane working environments where the coffee nook principle has pride of place.

Horst Heckhorn

Horst Heckhorn

Senior Vice President SAP Solutions

Markus Schwarze

Markus Schwarze

SVP Digital Business Services

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