Report: 97% of business collaboration investments lack strategy

Business employees defining their business collaboration strategy

We’re fortunate enough to live in an era when purchasing is easy. If you want to buy a television, a car or a piece of office equipment, there are countless options to choose from.

If anything, sometimes, there are too many options. As Barry Schwartz pointed out in his 2004 book and TED talk, The Paradox of Choice, too much choice can be a bad thing. 

Having to choose between many similar products can leave us feeling paralysed or cause us to lose sight of the bigger picture. It’s easy to get caught up comparing one set of features with another, when really what we should be asking is:

What are we trying to achieve? What’s the end goal?

Once you have the answer to this question, choosing between products becomes much simpler. If you buy products on their individual merits, you can end up focussing on what the products are capable of, instead of what they can help you do.

In fact, something we often remind ourselves of is to not discuss products, if possible, but to focus on solutions. Clients will often approach us asking what meeting room tech they should be buying. In response, we ask them to reflect on what they’re hoping to achieve:

  • What behaviours are you trying to encourage? 
  • What problems are you trying to solve?
  • Is there anything you can learn from your latest employee and client satisfaction surveys?

With this in mind, I wasn’t all that surprised when Ricoh’s latest IDC report landed on my desk. There’s a lot of interesting stuff in there and I recommend all Facilities and IT leaders who want to know where their peers are investing and why to give it a read. But one specific statistic really jumped out:

Organisations still lack a holistic business collaboration strategy. 

The survey shows there is patchy penetration with only 3% of respondents deploying a complete set of business collaboration solutions. However, it is worth noting that this small proportion of companies with end-to-end solutions report much higher levels of satisfaction. Roughly 95% are more satisfied.

97% of organisations are not starting with a business collaboration strategy, but buy fragmented collaboration and workplace solutions. Of the 3% who buy complete sets of integrated solutions, 95% are satisfied, compared with 62% satisfaction for the others. 

Almost all organisations have recognised the value of investing in workplace collaboration solutions. They particularly appreciate the benefits of seamless communication and collaboration. The next step is a more considered, business collaboration strategy approach to deciding what your organisation really needs. As the report shows, businesses who invest in end-to-end solutions as opposed to individual products report a 33% increase in satisfaction.

Integrated solutions are the way to go. And the best way to design a solution that’s right for you is to form a strategy, rooted in what you know about your people.

The real crux of the matter isn’t choosing the right technology. Technology is always the means, never the end. The skill lies in identifying the problems you need to fix and setting the right goals. Our approach to this is simply to speak to your people. Nobody knows better where you should be spending your money.

Click here for your free copy of Ricoh’s IDC report.

It’s full of information and advice that will help you make better workplace purchasing decisions. And if you have questions about how to create your own business collaboration strategy, please feel free to drop me a line on LinkedIn

Or to read more on how to connect and collaborate, please read our new guide on Communication Services. 

Mark Preece

Area Sales Director, Communication Services at Ricoh UK

Read all articles by Mark Preece