December 01, 2021

3 min

Optimize Hybrid Work with Managed Collaboration

Build a collaboration strategy that focuses on the needs of both employees and the business.

Collaboration technology is nothing new. Since businesses began using telephones, tech has helped organizations do business with their customers and helped employees work together. But collaboration at work has taken on a whole new meaning in our current era of hybrid work. 

Employees are now doing their jobs from different locations, and some are even working remotely in different cities full time. This has required a vast toolbox of collaboration solutions, from videoconferencing and chat platforms to Voice over IP and document sharing. Workers can now reach each other in multiple ways to work through projects, regardless of where they are physically.

But this onslaught of collaboration tools does have a downside. First, employees are now more accessible than they’ve ever been, and that has led to burnout at work. Second, the more tools there are, the more there is for IT to manage. It also means that there are more opportunities for bad actors to penetrate your network.

Managed collaboration services can help simplify this process, while easing the burden on IT to maintain these now mission-critical environments.

Make Sure You Have the Right Collaboration Tools

The first step a partner can help with is getting the optimal collaboration tools. This means thinking about how to make things easier for employees. Prioritizing smooth office workflow, regardless of physical location or the device being used, needs to be at the forefront of any collaboration strategy. 

For seamless collaboration, every employee needs the exact same experience. Vibrant video connections, clear audio and consistent visibility are all key to ensuring that employees feel connected and included. It also means having a platform that is integrated and easy to use, and that will enhance the reliability of the entire system. 

Business continuity and security also need to be considered for meetings to run successfully. Having built-in artificial intelligence can accommodate both, enhancing the quality of meetings with features such as automute. AI can also automate some of the more mundane workflow tasks and incorporate security policies. Using automation to track data can also garner visibility into how employees are using these collaboration tools, which can identify the best way to tailor your solution to your workforce needs.

Bringing Business Outcomes to the Forefront

Like any good strategy, organizations need to begin with the end in mind when choosing the platform and system that is right for them. Business outcomes need to play a role in informing the approach. Is the goal to minimize risk? Is it to increase productivity? Is it to reduce cost? All of those questions need to be answered when developing a collaboration strategy.

The employee experience presents another set of considerations. Are workers struggling with ease of use? Are tools integrated? Are environments secure? These questions are key to determining whether the organization’s collaboration system is providing the intended flexibility for employees.

It is a lot to consider, and that’s why having a trusted partner is crucial. CDW’s Managed Collaboration Anywhere services can meet your organization wherever you are in the process. There are assessments to determine needs, as well as implementation and adoption services to ensure your organization is getting the most out of these tools. CDW can manage your platform along every step of the lifecycle, freeing up your IT department to tackle more pressing needs. 

Hybrid work is here to stay, and that means collaboration tools will continue to play a vital role. Arm your employees for the new normal with modern managed collaboration.

Story by Ozzie Vargas, an enterprise collaboration consultant with CDW. He works with customers to develop a collaboration strategy, understand their business goals and expectations and map them to the corresponding technology.