A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned By AT&T Collaboration Frontier: An Integrated Experience

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1 A Forrester Consulting Thought Leadership Paper Commissioned By AT&T August 2013

2 Table Of Contents Executive Summary... 2 The Profile Of Respondents Is Across The Board... 3 Investment In Collaboration Is Robust And Diverse... 6 Collaboration Is Used Across Departments With Growing Expectations... 7 The Next Frontier: Integrated Collaboration Tools A Strategic Approach To COllaboration Technology Is Critical Appendix A: Methodology Appendix B: Demographics , Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited. Information is based on best available resources. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change. Forrester, Technographics, Forrester Wave, RoleView, TechRadar, and Total Economic Impact are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective companies. For additional information, go to [1-LLKODJ] About Forrester Consulting Forrester Consulting provides independent and objective research-based consulting to help leaders succeed in their organizations. Ranging in scope from a short strategy session to custom projects, Forrester s Consulting services connect you directly with research analysts who apply expert insight to your specific business challenges. For more information, visit Page 1

3 Executive Summary The appetite for collaboration remains high as organizations look to drive better access to information and expertise and enable collective action. The goals range from tactical benefits like knowledge worker efficiency to strategic goals like better innovation. Many organizations strive to measure the full business impact, and in doing so discover that lack of adoption is a key inhibitor to achieving full value. In February 2013, AT&T commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate current issues with enterprise collaboration tools and establish a road map for success. In conducting an indepth online survey with 151 business and IT professionals responsible for their enterprise s social and collaboration tools, Forrester found that the problem for many is an ever-increasing array of tools that, while individually valuable, are disconnected from one another as well as the underlying business systems and processes. The answer lies in a more integrated experience that replaces disparate tools with an integrated experience. Collaboration Is Strategic; Execution Is Critical Forrester s study yielded three key findings: Many are investing in collaboration. Organizations of all sizes and across industries are making key investments in collaboration technology. The spending patterns indicate that this is a critical priority for many. The goals are strategic. Organizations are investing in collaboration in order to drive knowledge worker efficiency as well as competitive differentiation in the marketplace. Goals include better and faster identification of expertise and better ability to drive innovation. We aren t there yet. Robust spending has not yet translated to full business value, as adoption is lagging. In order to reach full business value, collaboration must be fully aligned with business processes; this will require more diligent planning for an integrated user experience across business and collaboration applications. Page 2

4 The Profile Of Respondents Is Across The Board In order to capture the sentiment associated with collaboration technology broadly, Forrester and AT&T chose to cast a wide net for the supporting survey and not explicitly direct it toward traditional collaboration sweet spots like professional services and financial services. The goal was to measure the effects of collaboration on a wide variety of sizes and types of organizations. In Some Ways, They Are Very Different... Some key considerations regarding respondents are that they represent (see Figure 1): Organizations of all sizes. The distribution of organizational size was very even: The smallest segment (10%) represented organizations of 1,000 to 2,499 employees, while the largest segment (24%) was companies with 50,000 or more employees. Organizations from a wide array of industries. While companies from industries, such as financial services and healthcare, that are traditionally users of collaboration led the respondent categories, there was also strong input from less traditionally knowledge-intensive industries like retail. Organizations with varying appetites for technology adoption. Organizations included in the data supporting this paper run the gamut from early technology adopters to more conservative companies, from those with hierarchical organizational structures to those that are more flat, and from those that centralize their decisionmaking to those at which decisions are decentralized. Business and IT in equal measure. In order to gauge the full effects of collaboration technology on the business, the responses were gathered from an approximately equal number of business users (5) and IT decisionmakers (4). Page 3

5 Figure 1 Respondents Came From Varied Perspectives Using your best estimate, how many employees work for your firm/organization worldwide? Which of the following best describes the industry to which your company belongs? 50,000 or more employees 24% Financial services 20,000 to 49,999 employees 14% Healthcare Retail 12% 1 10,000 to 19,999 employees 1 Government 10% 5,000 to 9,999 employees 1 Business and consumer services Insurance 10% 2,500 to 4,999 employees Transportation services 8% 1,000 to 2,499 employees 10% Telecommunications services 6% Electronics 6% Thinking about your organization, how much do you agree or disagree with the following statements? Completely agree 5 4 Neutral 3 2 Completely disagree 1 My organization is an early adopter of technology % We wait until a technology is mature before using it 1 32% 26% 22% We are a highly distributed organization, with many decisions made by departments, regions, or businesses 1 33% 1 26% 10% We are a centralized organization, with many decisions made centrally 1 42% 12% We are a hierarchical organization, with a clear chain of command 3 42% 16% 3% We are a flat organization, with lots of independent actions and decisions 4% 1 17% 34% 2 (percentages may not total 100 because of rounding)... While In Other Ways, They Are Very Similar One area where respondents demonstrated greater similarity was that the vast majority operated across multiple locations, with 50% having an organizational structure that spans multiple countries (see Figure 2). They also support remote workers, with more than half having at least 2 of their employees working from home at least once a week. Page 4

6 Figure 2 Collaboration Is Common Where The Organization Spans Multiple Geographies How would you describe the structure of your company or organization? Using your best estimate, what percentage of employees at your organization work remotely at least once a week (using a laptop, tablet, mobile device, etc.)? Multiple locations, some in different countries 50% 7 to 100% 7% 50% to 74% 1 Multiple locations in the same country 48% 2 to 4 32% 0% to 24% 4 Single location 3% Don t know (percentages may not total 100 because of rounding) Page 5

7 Investment In Collaboration Is Robust And Diverse A lot of technologies fall under the category of collaboration, and investment in all of them is strong. Of the 11 technology categories we asked about (not including ubiquitous offerings like and calendaring), the most pervasive was room-based videoconferencing, with a full 7 at some level of implementation or expansion. However, emerging categories like activity streams also demonstrated strong adoption, with having some level of implementation and another considering a deployment (see Figure 3). The message is clear: Firms are not just spending a lot on collaboration, they re spending on a lot of different types of collaboration technologies. Figure 3 Investment In Collaboration Is Wide And Deep What are your firm s plans to implement or expand its use of the following social technologies for employee or external partner collaboration in the next 12 months? Expand/upgrade existing implementation Piloting Decreasing Room-based videoconferencing Implementing/implemented Interested/considering Removing 52% 1 2% 3% Document collaboration Instant messaging/chat Webconferencing 37% 3 46% 48% 4 3% 8% 2% 12% 7% 3% Discussion forums 16% 34% 16% Immersive videoconferencing Blogs/wikis Community software Social networking software Employee-generated video Microblogs/activity streams 20% 1 14% 1 7% 1 26% 22% 1 32% % 12% 18% 3% 32% 13% 22% 4% 24% 2% 3% 44% 3% 50% (percentages may not total 100 because of rounding) Page 6

8 Collaboration Is Used Across Departments With Growing Expectations Not only are organizations of all sizes and types using a wide variety of collaboration tools, they are also doing it across all parts of the business, addressing a wide swath of business activities and processes. Use Of Collaboration Crosses All Parts Of The Organization The biggest internal user of collaboration technology is IT (7); the smallest is legal (46%) (see Figure 4). When measuring external usage, marketing unsurprisingly has the lead at 5, followed by sales at 44%. The key finding is that a lot of people across a variety of departments use collaboration; it s no longer specialized functionality provided to a chosen few. The trend points to generalized business value across the majority of business functions. Figure 4 Use Of Collaboration And Social Technology By Department Which departments are currently using collaboration or social technologies (internally or externally)? (Select all that apply) Internally Externally, with partners IT 7 IT 32% HR 64% HR Marketing 62% Marketing 5 Product development 58% Product development Customer service 58% Customer service 37% Sales 54% Sales 44% Legal 46% Legal 14% None of these 4% None of these 17% (multiple responses accepted) Page 7

9 Collaborative Activities Range From Tactical To Strategic The reason for broad adoption of collaboration becomes clear when mapped to specific business activities; most are tactical challenges faced by a large number of workers across a wide range of job functions. The most common business activity facilitated by collaboration technologies is project management, at 68% (see Figure 5). This is not surprising, given that most workers engage in project-based activities on a regular basis. Other common activities include capturing, sharing, and reusing knowledge (62%) and creating communities of interest (50%). These types of activities leverage the value of collaboration to help workers find content and expertise and coordinate ad hoc activities more effectively. In other words, they make today s work easier and faster. However, look to collaboration to foster innovation, which is certainly a strategic and potentially transformational goal for any organization. Figure 5 Collaborative Business Activities Range From Tactical To Strategic For which of the following employee activities is your firm currently using collaboration/social technologies? (Select all that apply) Managing projects Fostering collaboration within a division or group Corporate communications Capturing, sharing, and reusing knowledge Creating communities of interest Avoiding travel Locating experts/expertise Fostering innovation Other (please specify) None of the above 2% 37% 50% 48% 68% 64% 63% 62% Page 8

10 Collaboration Is Key To Critical Business Activities And Processes When asked to map the importance of collaboration to specific business activities today, it becomes clear that it plays a critical role. Topping the list is marketing to customers; 6 rated the importance of collaboration as a 4 or a 5 on a five-point scale. Other areas of interest include sales activities, with 4 coming in at a 4 or a 5, and driving corporate alignment with 52% (see Figure 6). Figure 6 Collaboration Plays An Important Role In Business Activities Today How important is collaboration/social technology to these business processes or activities today? Very important Not at all important 1 Marketing to customers (e.g., marketing campaigns, market research) Enabling more effective work among geographically dispersed teams Customer service activities (e.g., problem resolution, listening) Sales activities (e.g., proposal development, claim processing) 30% 30% % 4 30% 22% 24% 13% 3% 6% 3% 8% Supporting teleworkers/telecommuters 32% 2 13% 10% Making best practices easier to find and share 17% 34% 3 4% Driving corporate alignment and strategy (e.g., leadership meetings, branding) Driving innovation (innovation management, etc.) Working with partners or suppliers (e.g., sharing critical content and data) 16% 1 13% 38% 37% 32% 1 16% 7% Finding experts and expertise 1 3 (percentages may not total 100 because of rounding) Page 9

11 Expectations For The Future Are Even Higher If the role of collaboration is important today, it will become even more so in the future. When we posed the same question as in Figure 6 but asked respondents to consider the importance of collaboration to business processes or activities five years from now, the importance of collaboration became even more critical. Marketing to customers jumps from 6 today to 76% (again, responses of 4 or 5 on a five-point scale). Sales activities leap from 4 to 70%, and driving corporate alignment goes from 52% to 63% (see Figure 7). This would certainly explain the robust spending cited above. Figure 7 Expectations Are Significantly Higher Five Years From Now How important is collaboration/social technology to these business processes or activities five years from now? Very important Not at all important 1 Marketing to customers (e.g., marketing campaigns, market research) Customer service activities (e.g., problem resolution, listening) Enabling more effective work among geographically dispersed teams Sales activities (e.g., proposal development, claim processing) 50% 4 34% 26% 1 3% 13% 22% 3% 3% 20% Supporting teleworkers/telecommuters 32% 33% 12% 3% Making best practices easier to find and share 30% 27% 2% Driving innovation (innovation management, etc.) Driving corporate alignment and strategy (e.g., leadership meetings, branding) Working with partners or suppliers (e.g., sharing critical content and data) 27% % 22% 2 27% 8% 3% 3% Finding experts and expertise 24% 32% 30% 13% (percentages may not total 100 because of rounding) Page 10

12 It s Important Enough To Measure Given the ad hoc nature of most knowledge worker activities, it s very difficult to measure the impact of new collaboration technologies in the environment. However, given the importance of collaboration, it s not surprising that many are attempting to capture the value of these critical investments and hence the success of the overall initiatives. In fact, capture the value of collaboration through established metrics and an additional 38% capture value through anecdotal feedback (see Figure 8). The actual business value accrues in three ways: improved customer service (7), increased revenue (6), and cost reduction from removing human latency from existing processes (56%). Figure 8 Business Value Accrues From Better Customer Service, Increased Revenue, And Process Efficiency Have you measured the value of collaboration/social technology? How have you measured the value of collaboration/social technology? (Select all that apply) Yes, through established metrics Improved customer service from better access to information and expertise 7 Yes, through anecdotal feedback 38% Increased revenue through improved sales activities, better access to experts, access to existing material (reduced rework), etc. 6 No 3 Cost reduction from removing human latency from processes 56% Cost reduction from reduced travel 47% Page 11

13 The Next Frontier: Integrated Collaboration Tools While the value of collaboration is becoming increasingly clear, significant barriers to adoption still exist. Without a critical mass of adoption, the full value of collaboration cannot be achieved. Throughout this study, the data has pointed to collaboration technologies as a mechanism to better identify information and expertise and provide a means to more effectively act collectively. The issue of lagging adoption becomes clear with these goals; if not everyone is participating, then some key content, key expertise, and key stakeholders are not accessible by the solution. Respondents views of the technical barriers that collaboration technologies face today are concerning; 57% rated users having to switch between multiple unintegrated applications to be a 4 or 5 on a five-point scale where 5 means the largest barrier (see Figure 9). The unintegrated nature of the solutions showed up in another way: 4 of respondents indicated that there are too many ways to do the same thing. In addition to reporting that tools which are not integrated with one are a problem, 43% of respondents rated tools that are not integrated with underlying business systems as a 4 or a 5. Figure 9 Users Face Significant Barriers With Today s Collaboration Tools What technical barriers do collaboration/social technologies face in your organization? Largest barrier Not a barrier 1 Users have to switch between multiple solutions that are not integrated with one another 1 42% 7% There are too many ways to do the same thing so users choose the tool they like best 37% 12% 7% Solutions are not integrated with underlying business applications 34% 38% 10% Solutions do not support the devices that users have (smartphones, tablets, etc.) 26% 40% 13% 16% Users don t like to have to go through a VPN to access solutions 4% 38% 16% Products are too complex for users or user interfaces are poor 2% 26% 14% (percentages may not total 100 because of rounding) To solve the issue of multiple disconnected tools gating user adoption, a strategic framework is required. Forrester refers to this framework as the information workplace, in which core business activities are supported by a tool set that provides access to content, expertise, and social and communication tools in an integrated fashion. Page 12

14 A STRATEGIC APPROACH TO COLLABORATION TECHNOLOGY IS CRITICAL Better collaboration has been clearly identified as a business priority. In order to fully tap the business opportunity, information technology professionals must: Include business leaders in collaboration planning. No one collaborates for the sake of collaboration. It needs to be in the context of business requirements. Start with an in-depth assessment of how collaboration can help key critical business processes. This effort must be a partnership between IT and the business. Align collaboration investments with business systems. Once you have determined the key business opportunities, lay out a strategy for an integrated user experience. In order to reach full business value, align collaboration technology with critical business systems like CRM, supply chain, and ERP, as defined by the above business assessment. Establish an architecture for collaboration integration. Enterprise architects need to establish standards for integration with underlying business systems as described above, as well as between collaboration systems. A strategy for a unified vision for social, collaboration, and communications systems that are contextually integrated is key. Design for an integrated information workplace. Given the clear advantages toward adoption and worker efficiency presented by an integrated experience, enterprise architects should focus on an experience for end users that reduces application switching and encourages collaboration within existing systems. Page 13

15 Appendix A: Methodology In this study, Forrester conducted an online survey of 151 organizations in the US and Canada to evaluate enterprise collaboration tools. Survey participants included decision-makers in both business and IT responsible for their enterprise s social and collaboration tools. Questions provided to the participants asked about current and future usage of collaboration tools, the roles responsible for social collaboration in the organization, the metrics for collaboration, and the barriers to collaboration tool adoption. The study began in April 2013 and was completed in May Appendix B: Demographics Figure 10 Survey Demographics: Enterprise Collaboration Tools Which title best describes your position at your organization? Senior-most technology decision-maker in the firm (e.g., CIO, CTO) VP in IT/telecom/communications 7% 7% Director in IT/telecom/communications Manager in IT/telecom/communications 1 17% Enterprise architect 2% IT 4 Business 5 Business process analyst 2% Senior-most business leader (e.g., owner, president, C-level executive other than CIO) Senior-most finance leader (e.g., CFO) 3% Executive in line of business (e.g., VP of marketing, senior VP of manufacturing) Director in line of business 1 Manager in line of business 1 (percentages may not total 100 because of rounding) Page 14

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