Oakton Research Finds Australian Organisations Fail to Understand Value of Employee Collaboration

Oakton has today announced the findings of the first Oakton Employee Collaboration Index, which revealed that whilst many Australian organisations understand that collaboration is important, they do not understand the true value of collaboration and its impact on business outcomes.

Oakton’s Employee Collaboration research was designed to provide an insight into how Australian organisations perceive and respond to collaboration. It found that though businesses want to encourage collaboration, just over a quarter (26 per cent) persist in using older technologies like email to collaborate and 20 per cent still rely on face-to-face contact. However, only twelve per cent use an intranet, as few as nine per cent use video conferencing to collaborate with colleagues, only three per cent use social media and a tiny five per cent use the internet.

“There appears to be a fundamental disconnect between what people say and what they are doing. They want to encourage collaboration, but they persist in using older technology that does not include truly collaborative features,” said Shaji Sethu, Chief Solutions and Innovation Officer, Oakton.

The exclusive research was conducted on behalf of Oakton by Australian marketing company, Outsource, during March and April 2014. It found that 47 per cent of organisations do not know how much they plan to invest in collaboration tools over the next twelve months, despite the vast majority (97 per cent) recognising the important role collaboration plays in the organisation. Surprisingly, 51 per cent said they prefer to handover the actual delivery of the employee engagement strategy to the IT department.

While 27 per cent of organisations cite employee engagement as the key benefit of collaboration, only some organisations frame the benefits around hard business case metrics. For those organisations, the most important benefits from collaboration are the ability to deliver projects more effectively (19 per cent) and to encourage innovation (45 per cent), both of which deliver competitive advantages. Only five per cent recognised that increasing sales was a key benefit of collaboration.

“Our research shows that Australian organisations need help understanding how to build a strong business case around collaboration and seeking help from collaboration experts who can demonstrate the business case for collaboration technology, including quantifiable return on investment metrics is the best start point,” Shaji Sethu said.

126 senior IT and management decision-makers from organisations employing 615 or more people were surveyed via outbound telemarketing and email. Respondents represented a variety of industries including banking and financial services, other professional services, retail, transport, insurance, utilities, resources and entertainment.

“As technology has advanced, it is no longer necessary for employees to gather in one place to collaborate. This shift has seen the rise of collaboration tools ranging from enterprise social tools and instant messaging applications to document sharing and project management software that make formal or informal collaboration seamless for organisations,” concluded Shaji Sethu. 

Oakton’s Employee Collaboration Index is available to download here.

View our Infographic of the survey results. 


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