With remote working here to stay, efficient systems are more critical than ever
When Salesforce announced in December that it was buying Slack for a whopping $27.7 billion, the headline-making acquisition underlined the value of collaboration tools in the modern workplace.
Businesses have long recognised the benefits of organised teamwork – it stimulates creativity, increases productivity, fosters community, improves problem-solving and even leads to ground-breaking innovations and ideas. Yet, few can boast that collaboration happens effectively and consistently across their firms.
Why is such a seemingly simple concept so difficult to achieve? Some of the most common barriers I have observed over the years include:
· Lack of a central hub or location for collaborative working
· Geographic distance and time differences
· Disorganised management of important files and documents
· Teams’ natural tendency to work in silos
These problems have only been exacerbated by the pandemic and the inexorable, and possibly irreversible, move towards home working. Now, even teams that previously shared an office find themselves working in new forced silos. The need for high-quality collaboration tools has taken on a new urgency.
Choosing the right collaboration tool
Many businesses have started investing in new technologies as they realise that remote working is here to stay.
But before rushing out to buy any new software or systems, organisations should consider the following:
1. Look at why, not how
Conduct a thorough review of your current workflow and processes. What is stopping you from collaborating effectively? What level of collaboration are you hoping to achieve? The success of any collaboration tool relies first on having clearly defined goals. Focus on why you are looking to change. Not how you are going to do it. This is crucial for the success of any initiative. Only by understanding and articulating why you need a specific piece of technology will you be able to identify the right solution and get the buy-in of users.
2. Consider integration into existing workflows
The most successful tools are those that do not place additional demands on their users. Employees should never regard collaboration as a burden on their time and energy – one that requires them to remember new passwords, get additional training, undertake cumbersome transfer of files and content, etc.
The most widely and eagerly adopted collaboration tools are those that eliminate time-consuming manual processes, help people work more productively, and offer individuals and teams an easy way to share ideas, insights and content.
Collaborative data analytics
Organisations in the financial services industry, which rely heavily on massive data sets for their decision-making, need to factor in additional considerations before taking the leap. This is one of the reasons why collaboration tools have been so hard to develop.
Users typically start with siloed thinking, find the right data, analyse it, then chart their findings before sharing their work with colleagues and clients. This is the issue that has been hard to resolve.
We created Macrobond to solve that problem and make it a reality. Our users have access to the largest macroeconomic and financial database, alongside integrated tools that enable them to instantly analyse, visualise and share dynamic charts and presentations, enhancing enterprise-wide collaboration which in turn improves productivity.
We help asset allocators, economists, portfolio managers, quantitative analysts and strategists to collaborate more effectively with one another and other colleagues across business lines. We’ve also made all this accessible from one central hub, so collaboration and idea sharing happens seamlessly and harmoniously.
Having spent most of my career at Bloomberg, a company that has done more than any other to improve transparency and collaboration in the financial markets, I’m excited to be part of a fast-growing business that builds on this vision, delivering solutions that transform how people work with data, and with each other.