Scale comes from centralized processes. Agility comes from decentralized innovation. Technology enables you to have both. The key is what we call a system of enterprise collaboration.
Workplace collaboration centres around enterprise goals, to be met through enterprise processes. Omnipresent systems of record such as ERPs, on the one hand, hold all key data around processes. On the other hand systems of record impose a certain rigidity that necessitates a layer of free-flowing processes outside of these systems. Processes and therefore the information contained in systems of record remains indispensable to enterprises and is central. But there is much that systems of record either don’t capture or are too cumbersome to be constantly for. This gap then gets filled by a blizzard of documents, emails, chat messages etc.
A collaboration platform by definition needs to be lightweight, intuitive and in this day and age, mobile to garner user engagement. But for enterprise collaboration there are two other criteria:
The platform needs to enable and enforce processes and workflows, which after all are best practices.
The platform needs to incorporate information people need to do their jobs, easier said than.
Herein lies the contradiction. Structured information sharing requires data entry, an anathema to moving fast. Processes cramp day to day creativity. But look closer and the challenges are not as crippling as they look. Data entry becomes a bottleneck due to data quality requirements and process-based centralization. Processes slow things down because systems of record are slow and cumbersome to customize.
Mobile and IoT technologies among other things enable easy and distributed data collection. Software products have seen a democratization, culminating in No Code platforms that allow speedy creation and editing of apps that enable processes. This opens up the door to easy task-based collaboration on mobile devices. But that is just the starting point. With AI the impact data being gathered can be exponential. We’ll be discussing how in subsequent posts. We’d love to hear what you think.