Don’t Put Off Figuring Out Your Collaboration Roadmap Until Tomorrow

Written by Les Ellery

In previous blog posts, I’ve touched on various collaboration technologies with the aim of trying to provide a sense of those that give businesses the answers to specific challenges. If you’ve read any of these, you’ll have picked up on the fact I’m pretty passionate about the benefits of video, for instance –just one example of a business technology among the myriad available under the Unified Communications umbrella that really can deliver transformative benefits to the ways many businesses operate.

Of course, the mere fact that a specific technology is available does not automatically qualify it as a business requirement. The reality is that often businesses will not invest in new collaboration tools unless the culture of their organisation is driven by a sufficient number of forward-looking individuals, i.e. people who are genuinely up to speed with the mercurial pace of technological change, and who feel suitably qualified and empowered to make important decisions about leveraging those new technologies that are really going to change their businesses for the better. Crucially, these people tend to recognise that, and act on the knowledge that, the collaboration tools now emerging are potentially of significant importance to them if they are to develop a more competitive edge in an increasingly well-connected and fast-paced playing field.

Our experience at Axonex is that many – probably the vast majority – of organisations aren’t imbued with this sort of future-focused culture, and consequently do not feel sufficiently informed to make those key decisions that will bring transformative change and efficiency across their operations. Most companies are pretty tentative in this regard, and often only grasp the opportunity to upgrade when their current systems are in meltdown, are unsupported by the manufacturer, or are genuinely no longer fit for purpose. Sound familiar?

Perhaps this is unsurprising, really – after all, most people have to fulfil the demands of their day-jobs and can’t spare the time required to ‘future out’ where their collaboration tools should be upgraded. The stymieing ‘paradox of choice’ resulting from the overwhelming array of technology at our disposal, means that it can sometimes be easier to just bury your head in the sand and wait!

That said, let’s not forget the adage that in business time is money, so waiting around to see how things evolve might just be a ticket to disaster – especially if, as previously described, your infrastructure is nearing the end of its useful life.

So, here’s my advice. Firstly, find a well-respected expert to work with in this hugely complex area. That means a long-term partner, not just a ‘one night stand’! Find someone you can trust, someone who is going to be with you for the long haul, someone fully qualified and experienced enough to offer sound advice. Someone totally immersed in these technologies, someone with real credibility in their field. And make sure it’s someone with references – in fact, someone with lots of references.

The irony is that most of us happily conduct this kind of research for the more trivial things in daily life, such as getting a good recommendation for a plumber or a restaurant, or maybe even picking up a bargain on eBay. But when it comes to planning and predicting how to embrace – and really benefit from – the seismic shifts going on in the technological world, and to figuring out which new collaboration technologies could integrate well into your business, I’m not convinced that it’s really such a great idea to leave it all to a spot of spare-time Googling, in an attempt to see what’s out there, and to see if you can get a cheap quote for a bunch of new phones and servers.

On the basis that you took the time and trouble to read this blog and have taken a look around our site, I – perhaps somewhat predictably – would suggest that we at Axonex are genuinely qualified to forge that trust and partnership with your organisation. But if you only take one thing from this post, it should be this – now really is the time to start figuring out how you want your collaboration tools to look, long before anything becomes problematic, so don’t wait for the whole thing to come crashing down before you give us a call.