Collaboration Makes Its Way into the Playbooks of Digital Transformation Leaders


It’s the classic case of ‘one of these things is not like the others.’ According to AIIM’s 2017 Industry Watch report, State of Information Management: Are Businesses Digitally Transforming or Stuck in Neutral?, organizations who want their digital transformation journey to be brilliant instead of blah should:

  • Go paperless.
  • Use mobile devices to interface with business information and processes.
  • Reduce the amount of duplicate information and round robin emails.
  • Use process transformation as an opportunity to improve information sharing and collaboration.

Sharing and collaboration? These might not be as hard-hitting as benchmarks like reducing costs and increasing productivity, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important. 

So, how can your organization absorb AIIM’s latest findings and best use process automation and information management investments to encourage collective creativity? We turned to Avanade, a K2 Partner and Microsoft’s Solution Implementation 2016 Partner of the Year, for their take. According to Thomas Hoglund, VP of Digital Workplace, it’s all about how a company frames their digital workplace goals. 

“Companies that solely or initially look at this as a technology problem will say, ‘If I put in new, modern technologies and cloud-based technologies, that will make my people more productive.’ And then they’ll send out an email saying here’s some new software that everyone needs to know about and they’ll hope for the best. There’s a vastly different degree of success with a company that thinks about how they want people to use these technologies. What would it look like for our salespeople, our call centers, our R&D groups? How would they work differently?”

Avanade has seen a lot of success with clients that take a strategic and proactive approach to digital transformation instead of treating it as a technology project that will save some licensing costs or reduce headcount. Hoglund cited a pharmaceutical company that has been able to cut several weeks off the development of new chemicals and drugs due to a collaboration tool that allows employees to access research from other locations and make quicker decisions about whether a project is proving to be successful or a dead end. 

Another Avanade client, a telecommunications company, performed a pilot program among their customer service agents. They found that agents who were given internal social chat tools handled 23 percent more calls per day and achieved customer satisfaction scores that were 17 percent higher than their unconnected counterparts. It turns out that simply by being able to quickly escalate a call or get information by IM’ing a supervisor, this company could choose to reduce or reallocate customer service resources or grow their business without having to hire any new people. 

As AIIM’s report suggests, it’s still the human factor in digital transformation that remains the most challenging in achieving success. But, by including improving employee collaboration along with your bottom-line objectives, you might actually achieve better overall growth.  As Hoglund says, “This is all about empowering employees to work better and work differently.”

AIIM’s 46-page report covers a wide range of findings from more than 195,000 respondents on content management, infrastructure, process, spend opinions, social, cloud, analytics and more. Download a free copy of the report here

Learn more about Avanade’s services and how they can align your technology and business objectives here.