Seven Steps Organizations Need to Follow in Order to Upgrade or Migrate to a New Collaboration Platform

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The market has a large number of collaboration platforms built to automate business processes and workflows. Some enable mobile access to collaboration, while others focus on people collaboration. Many organizations are vexed when it comes to selecting the platform best suited to their requirements.

The key is to identify how an organization can go to the next level using a collaboration platform. Typically, organizations already start with an existing, albeit minimalistic, collaboration platform and a particular mindset. One needs to analyze how the organization currently collaborates and the business value that the current collaboration platform provides. An organization can make their employees more efficient, better connect with their partners, and improve their level of engagement with customers on social media channels with these modern platforms. We address these aspects in our series of whitepapers. The CIO office in an organization can employ the steps provided here to prepare an outlook for a new collaboration platform.

The following is a set of steps that an organization should take in articulating their needs and the problems that collaboration will entail in order to increase productivity and profitability. These steps will also hope this blog will help business executives select an appropriate platform that fulfills all their business requirements. The seven steps are as follows:

1. Deep dive into the collaboration strategy and requirements

The first step is to clearly define the business problem to be solved, the objective and vision when using collaboration, and to define how collaboration fits into the overall business strategy. This will simplify the process of choosing a specific collaboration platform.

2. Map business needs to collaboration requirements

Identifying the organization’s business needs and requirements typically involves evaluating their IT services and identifying the gaps as well as opportunities for improvement. One can select the social communities to be deployed, the features necessary for those communities and members of these communities, and then decide which rights these community members receive.

3. Evaluate vendor products based on requirements

Based on the requirements defined above, one can choose to use the existing vendor shop for licensing and integration reasons, or build an in-house cohesive system with open source tools, existing tools, and tools from various vendors. There is also the option to buy a fully-grown product and integrate it with existing applications.

4. Articulate managing change with people, processes, and technologies

Enterprise Collaboration is all about team work and having an open culture is very crucial to an organization that is adopting a collaboration tool. Social collaboration brings in a massive change in the culture, infrastructure, and process changes. Adoption is the key to the success of any collaboration platform, and one needs executive buy-in for an adoption to work top-down.

5. Choose the right platform

After identifying the business needs, formulating a collaboration strategy, budget, integration and support requirements, organizations can select the appropriate platform that fits the organization’s business context and usage.

6. Define the existing technology stack and expertise

Understanding the existing technology stack and expertise to seamlessly integrate the collaboration tool plays a significant role in the selection process. Analyze the various integration points, plug-ins, ease/difficulty of integration, the availability of documentation, and the need to hire a new expert team.

7. Articulate the cloud strategy

The organizations’ CIO office can plan to go cloud-based or on-premise for future technology investments, and check if their cloud strategy is in line with the selected collaboration tool.

These seven steps can help select the most appropriate collaboration platform to suit an organization’s business requirements, fit within the budget, and integrate well with the existing tools.

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