Dimension Data > Collaboration > Adoption and consumption of the connected enterprise

Adoption and consumption of the connected enterprise


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Derek Wilcocks Group CIO, Dimension Data

Derek Wilcocks Group CIO, Dimension Data

Organisations large and small struggle for growth in a challenged macro environment


Yet, a few organisations capture the imagination and wallets of consumers and shareholders. These organisations have business models as different from those that epitomised success just 10 years ago as the Roman Empire was from the Mongol hordes that overran its eastern frontier in the Middle Ages.

It’s hard to characterise the exact nature of this difference, but it’s clear that these organisations are lean, agile, productive, client-centric and scalable. They appear to have a digital nervous system that integrates into and senses the demands and possibilities of clients, suppliers, partners, and – possibly most importantly – employees and contractors.

The 2016 Connected Enterprise Report  answers many of the questions every CEO is asking today: how can we use collaboration technology to respond more quickly to the needs and possibilities of our business ecosystem?

Yet, our research and experience demonstrate clearly that while the strategy of creating a ‘connected enterprise’ is top of mind for the C-suite, execution is still viewed as the domain of the IT department. According to a quarter of organisations surveyed in this Report, the principal criteria for success remains whether or not the technical requirements have been met.

In our view, this approach misses the essential first step: bring stakeholders across the business together in a facilitated and consultative engagement to agree both on business outcomes and on key steps in executing these outcomes.

In many organisations today  isn’t the lack of available collaboration technology. Even where the organisation itself doesn’t provide the necessary technology, users turn to publicly available collaborative platforms to create user groups. Often, these groups include external parties. Where the organisation does provide the technology, the challenge can often be one of being spoilt for choice. Telephony, room-based conferencing, desktop conferencing, email, intranets, internal and external social media tools are widely available in organisations today. The challenge is how to ensure that the use of these technologies creates a sustainable and continually improving ability to sense and respond more quickly.

This in turn requires blending business outcomes with a multipronged execution framework  that simultaneously works on achieving incremental advances in collaborative culture, organisational design, digital business processes, and human capability. Building a collaborative culture is particularly crucial. The 2016 Connected Enterprise Report  shows that a massive 96% of organisations believe fostering a culture of collaboration is key to encouraging employees to use these technologies more and better in their day-to-day work activities.

As Dimension Data’s Chief Information Officer I’m accountable for just one aspect of this, namely digital business processes. Successful processes can’t operate in isolation , but require a business architecture of which a subset is an integrated collaboration and communication architecture.

As a member of our executive team, I’m responsible with my colleagues to ensure advances across all four of these areas as we seek to remain relevant to our clients and employees and to retain our ability to accelerate their ambitions.


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