Digital transformation is the new trend of today’s world and we are all affected by it in different senses, especially after the emergence of the pandemic. However, when it comes to business, digital transformation has brought many fundamental changes to improve the processes and leave both business owners and customers better off.
A modern work environment can sound challenging as it may be difficult to align all team members. And, it is an issue for all businesses that have been digitally transformed regardless of their remote or on-site nature. Therefore, it is important for you to know the role of virtual collaboration in digital transformation. Here in this post, we will cover that for you!
What is Digital Transformation?
Before going through the role of virtual collaboration in digital transformation, you need to know the concept of digital transformation better.
By transforming – or adapting – businesses, digital transformation has emerged to make businesses more optimized for meeting market demands. Digital transformation is the process of using digital technology to create new business processes, cultures, and customer experiences, or to improve on existing ones. Taken as a whole, the use of developing technologies to rethink corporate strategies to fit the digital age of today is known as digital transformation.
What is Virtual Collaboration?
Digital transformation is all about increased productivity, more efficient and happier teams, and satisfied customers. Virtual collaboration helps team members share information and ideas while being physically apart. Some of the virtual collaboration tools and communication platforms examples are video conferencing tools, emailing tools, content planning tools, instant messaging tools, and agile project management tools.
As already mentioned, both remote and on-site teams can use virtual collaboration technology. The reason is that if everyone plans to be productive and stay informed about every single new update from other team members, they need to collaborate virtually.
Why Use Virtual Collaborative Technology During Digital Transformation?
In a recent survey, 79% of respondents stated that they used collaboration tools for work in 2021 which is an increase of 44% compared to 2019. Of course, the pandemic has had a direct influence on the growth of digital transformation. Traditional companies have gone remote or have taken a hybrid culture and have optimized themselves toward the new changes in the technology. It should be noted that many of these companies had no plans to embrace digital transformation and change their analog systems. However, they had no way out of it to join the digital transformation wave especially due to the pandemic.
A McKinsey study estimates that digital transformation has been accelerated by seven years during the first eight weeks of the pandemic. In addition, according to Forbes, the digital transformation cannot take the same pace because customer expectations are also on the rise. It, however, does not and should not stop companies from entering the digital world.
Here are some of the reasons that can convince businesses to use virtual collaborative technology:
Employing Cross-Border Talent
Companies have now come to the realization that they can employ cross-border talent without having to relocate the workforce. This is one of the most valuable changes brought by digital transformation. Well, the change has been inevitable and could have been a challenge because a remote team is not necessarily a collaborative team. However, it is not a challenge in reality as teams have been using digital tools such as collaborative technology.
Another reason why you should use virtual collaborative technology during digital transformation is to cut expenses. For instance, physical offices can be unnecessary especially if you are paying leasing or mortgage to have one. If everyone in the team is supposed to work remotely, there is no need to spend money on an office to which no one goes. The other costs related to a physical office are the gas and electricity bills, cleaning costs, building costs, etc. This would not apply to hybrid work cultures because then the office would be attended.
Maintaining Work-Life Balance
Keeping a work-life balance is intriguing to team members. Using virtual collaboration technology and going remote or hybrid can maintain that balance for your employees. It is great that the business owners care about the mental health and recreation of the employees. Team members would value that and they would both consciously and unconsciously increase their productivity.
What Are the Benefits of Virtual Collaboration?
Now let’s get to know the benefits of a virtual, or digital, collaborative environment:
The very first thing you can notice when using virtual collaboration tools is that managing team members is easier and they can communicate with one another better. Moreover, if you can prepare a training video for them.
So, there is no need for walking across the office to leave a note to someone or have to make a phone call to communicate with a foreign workforce. Every member would be using one platform to communicate and share the latest updates relevant to their tasks.
As communication is made easy in a virtual collaborative workplace, teams can be innovative in bringing new ideas and sharing them with other team members. The use of digital whiteboards, notes, etc. has made brainstorming ideas quite easy. So, everyone who has an innovative idea would share it on the platform and others can come up with even more interesting ideas by reading the previously shared ones.
Everyone has a clear understanding of what they should do on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis because managers would share the tasks and deadlines with teams. There would be no duplication, consequently. In addition, the risk of rework is relatively low because every task can have a lifecycle that starts from the moment a manager creates it and ends when they reach the desired outcome. Every supervision necessary for each task would be considered within the lifecycle. As a result, there would be a reduction in rework and a reduction in human errors.
When everyone knows what to do and when to finish the work, it is less likely that they spend time on unnecessary tasks or the tasks that they are not responsible for. This leads to a great time-saving effort that can by itself be so motivating to team members. The more goal-centric, directed approach to virtual collaboration would then result in increased productivity. Teams can also feel self-sufficient and self-confident because every task goes smoothly and finishes on time.
As teams can communicate better and know the necessary updates, meeting deadlines is no longer a far-fetched idea. Deadlines do not seem to be a burden that pressurizes the workforce negatively so that they lose their concentration and operate poorly. The reason is that deadlines are realistic and managers set them based on the productivity of the members.
Management is one of the many professions that has been the target of digital transformation. Project management has become far easier using virtual collaboration technology. Letting the Virtual collaboration tools do some of the work would save a lot of time and focus of the managers so that they can spend their time on some other tasks that cannot be automated. For instance, they can think of new marketing strategies, new sales approaches, improving customer service, etc.
To go with the flow of digital transformation is a smart move that you, as a business owner, can do. One of the many steps you can take to transform your business digitally is to use virtual collaboration technology. Having read the benefits of virtual collaboration technology above, you can make the final decision about integrating a virtual collaboration tool and the best communication software. Wish you the best of luck!