Survey points to high cost of poor collaboration capabilities in big firms

Businesses with 500 employees could be losing over $5m annually, claims Mitel in a survey into the cost of inadequate enterprise communications and collaboration capabilities.

The independent survey, conducted by Webtorials, analysed the ways people interact both inside and outside an organisation across North America and Europe and concluded that the yearly impact of losses in productivity costs firms $11,000 on average per employee.

Employees spend more than two-thirds of their day communicating and collaborating, yet lose almost 15% of total work time.

In an age where users are a screen tap away from connecting to other people, businesses are faced with many choices for enabling employees to communicate. This often leads to a mashup of conflicting and incompatible applications and tools. The result - productivity suffers and teamwork breaks down as silos appear and galvanise across organisations.

Chat and IM remain a challenge for businesses given the inconsistency of applications. When reviewing collaboration tools, IT decision-makers need to ensure employees, and those outside the organiSation who engage with the business, are using an interface that can tie together disparate platforms and applications. Bringing these together can save businesses money and provide a path to digital transformation.

Employees spend most of their communications time reading and replying to email. This suggests email remains the default tool despite the fact new enterprise applications that combine collaboration, chat, video and voice in a consistent workflow are becoming more prevalent. Lack of interoperability across platforms continues to make email the 'go to' mode of communications, even as it is being stretched beyond its initial purpose.

"This study underscores the alarming cost of poor communications and collaboration, and how companies of all sizes are artificially constrained by the very tools that were intended to improve their ability to be productive," said Bob Agnes, EVP & President of Enterprise Division, Mitel.

"For a company with 500 employees, as an example, the typical cost of inefficient communications is well over $5 million (USD) per year as outlined in our report," said Steven Taylor, Founder and CEO, Webtorials. "While there is no communications and collaboration infrastructure that can recover all of this expense, a careful examination of methods and systems can have an immense payoff in potentially recouping millions of dollars."

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