Stephen Duignan is VP International Marketing at LogMeIn.
Every technology provider claims to have the key to improved productivity (opens in new tab), providing greater efficiency and ensuring better collaboration. And for the most part, they do. Yet there are so many businesses that still remain stuck in the mire of stagnant productivity.
One of the reasons is the proliferation of technologies (opens in new tab) and platforms in use. With information siloed in different systems and with different members of staff preferring different communications apps, it should be no surprise that organisations are not working as efficiently as they could be.
This isn’t how technology was supposed to be, and it’s certainly not how technology vendors imagined their platforms being used. It’s up to each individual business (opens in new tab) to improve their use of communications apps and other associated technologies.
The power of communication
An estimated 4 million people already work remotely in the UK, with the figure predicted to continue growing to half the UK workforce in 2020. The concept of working from home is clearly here to stay.
Employers have realised the benefits that these initiatives can bring to their workforce. In particular, ‘smarter’ working practices such as remote working (opens in new tab) have been shown to improve mental health, support efficiency and even boost productivity.
Therefore, it’s in an employer’s own best interest to invest in streamlined collaboration technologies to ensure that employees (opens in new tab) working remotely will no longer have to compromise – or over-complicate – communication and collaboration with employees not sitting in their home office or their kitchen table, which is likely to be all of them.
Making use of virtual conferencing (opens in new tab) that provide additional features such as chat and resource sharing all in one platform allows employees to communicate with others regardless of their geographic location. And the main benefit of this is that it enables face-to-face communication in real-time, seamless communication in various forms also encourages further collaboration.
These benefits that virtual meeting rooms create is what has spiked the interest of many of today’s businesses. With traditional ways of working now in the past, new innovative methods are being introduced which can improve employee productivity. Virtual meeting rooms do just that.
Making use of virtual meeting rooms will create a collaborative atmosphere that will change the way normal meetings take place as well as keeping the workforce happy.
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Collaborating in many ways
Due to the explosion of collaboration technologies (opens in new tab) in recent years, a plethora of tools have become available that can aid communication and day-to-day activities in the workplace. The significant amount of time people spent on switching between apps needs to change. It leads to reduced productivity which can prove detrimental for many organisations, and the market is demanding a new approach to application use.
Many employees have different tech preferences and communication styles which organisations need to streamline by adopting an all-in-one solution. The organisational impact of a solution like this with virtual meetings and virtual collaboration technologies also encourages cooperation and can develop team decision making.
Simple collaborative solutions can facilitate cross-platform activity where users can go from chatting online to face-to-face meetings in seconds. A fully-integrated application also allows workers to easily connect and communicate — internally and externally — via a web browser or a downloadable desktop or mobile app. This is exactly what the market is demanding.
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Ensuring the chatter is secure
As more employees bring new tools into the workplace, IT can get left out of the loop on critical applications that entire teams may be using to manage company data. This, on top of juggling a diverse set of approved tools and apps – including legacy, on-premises, cloud and mobile apps – makes it difficult for IT to know which apps are in use within the business, leaving them unable to protect those apps and the company data within. Managing and securing all of these apps can be a frustrating, manual process.
Having the right tools in place enables IT to set up a more holistic security system, as well as maintain that system going forward. Recent research shows that rather than investing in piecemeal solutions, 93 per cent of IT professionals agree that bringing the various aspects of identity and access management under one solution would greatly benefit the overall security of the organisation.
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If you hope to drive adoption of a collaboration tool at all levels of the organisation, it needs to provide peace of mind that no matter what is being discussed or shared it is secure – especially at the executive level. Single Sign-On technology can add a layer of security to employees logging on from remote locations and with varying devices. It is a good policy for all access needs, but definitely reinforces the benefits of a single, secure, robust communication platform.
By streamlining processes and utilising a single sign-on all-in-one solution organisations can save valuable IT time, and more importantly provide their employees with tools that facilitate collaboration and creativity in the workplace. When used correctly organisations can cut through platform proliferation and use technology the way it was intended, to make life easier.
Stephen Duignan is VP International Marketing at LogMeIn (opens in new tab).