Collaboration is a process that brings people and information together to accomplish a common goal. What's new in today's connected world is that people no longer have to be in the same location, time zone, or culture to collaborate.
Tools such as videoconferencing and web sharing facilitate collaboration across distance. And blogs, wikis, and shared workspaces promote collaboration across time boundaries.
Cisco conducted one of the world's first comprehensive studies of the factors associated with successful adoption of network-based collaboration. Key findings of this study include the following:
Previous knowledge of collaboration habits did not consider the personal or cultural factors that influence success. Is today's collaborator more likely to be a BlackBerry-toting new college graduate who works for a startup technology company or a manager in a large consumer products company? Is the primary motivation for collaboration to increase personal productivity, improve business processes, or come up with innovative product ideas?
The results of this study help us understand how today's workers collaborate, which tools they use, and how they believe those tools affect productivity, innovation, and cost savings.
You can use the study results to maximize your return on investment from collaboration tools. One way is to implement business practices that have been shown to lead to more enthusiastic collaboration. Another is to identify and support employees who are most likely to benefit.