IT collaboration – not an if, but a when

A sharp uptick in BYOD, video and cloud as a delivery model has local IT decision makers scrambling to regain control. Is collaboration the answer?

The South African IT environment is changing rapidly. What was once a sector dominated by technical jargon and shrouded methodologies open only to system administrators and software engineers is now placing the user firmly in the spotlight. Complex frameworks are now being replaced by simpler systems that empower employees more swiftly and easily.

This is the embodiment of IT consumerisation.

Although this is a fairly recent phenomenon, the shifting technical tides have already begun to gather around what is perhaps the most critical business component of them all – communication. A sudden increase in Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), mobile and cloud expectations has facilitated the development of countless employee friendly solutions aimed at connecting the dots.

According to a recent Gartner survey, CIOs believe 38 percent of their workforce will soon be using personal devices at work. Further to this, The Economist recently revealed that 75% of business leaders believe in-person collaboration is critical to business success and has the potential to increase productivity by over 20%.
The systems designed to achieve this certainly exist. To date Apple has sold over 400 million iOS devices while, at last count, there were an estimated 1.3 million Android activations taking place on a daily basis.
In response, IT departments are beginning to find it increasingly difficult to manage and maneuver these offerings. Designed with the user in mind, precious few systems interact well with each other in the backend. This is where collaboration comes into play.

Developed to offer more seamless communication platforms to both users and system administrators, collaborative solutions have emerged in response to a sharp uptick in BYOD, pervasive video and cloud as a delivery model.

Opting for a unified collaborative communication system offers several benefits.

Chiefly, these services simplify and converge technologies by implementing a unified architecture that optimises the delivery of data, voice and video communications while reducing IT cost and complexity.

The mitigation of business risk is also a significant motivator, particularly at a senior executive level. By providing security and compliance capabilities that meet the highest standards converged systems offer interoperability that protects current investments while providing a migration path to new technologies.

Cost management and added flexibility are key components of these offerings. By providing a choice of deployment options that meet the specific business needs and budget of the organisation while preserving a consistent end-user experience, collaborative communication platforms are able to reduce unnecessary expenditure.

Finally, collaborative solutions hold the potential to expand internal offerings beyond the desktop by combining mobility with superior visual interaction across a variety of devices and applications.

Employee focused business technology is no longer a forecast – it is taking place before our eyes, irrevocably changing the internal IT environment as it empowers internal staff with the platforms they want to use – rather than those that they have to use.

The road forward for South African IT administrators and technical decision makers is clear – permit the uncontrolled influx of these platforms and suffer the consequences or take control and mitigate risk by incorporating collaborative platforms. The choice is yours.

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IT collaboration – not an if, but a when