Jul 10 The Emergence of Tier 1 Enterprise Collaboration Technology: Aligning Business Lines, Geographies, and Partners

Large enterprises need Tier 1 Enterprise Collaboration Technology to fully unlock the value of their complex mix of businesses, subsidiaries, geographies, partners and existing IT investments throughout the organization.  This must be accomplished in a way that inspires and attracts a world-class, globally distributed and increasingly work-from-home workforce and instills trust across all stakeholders.

The management skills and the nature of collaboration vary in an enterprise, with the highest collaborative scope being at the Group Business Level, Enterprise Staff Function(s) Level, and Enterprise CEO/C-Suite Level.  This is the Tier 1 Enterprise Level of Collaboration and until recently there has been no supporting technology at this level.  The tiers where current collaboration technologies have been focused are at the Tier 2 Level for a stand-alone business or business staff functions and Tier 3 Level collaboration for a team or multi-teams within these business units.

Unlock Value:

The great value creation from Tier 1 Enterprise Collaboration Technology comes from its capacity to bring and leverage all the complexity, all the moving parts of an enterprise plan, onto one common platform.  A Business Group can put all its underlying businesses on the platform. And an Enterprise staff function, such as Finance or IT, can also put all its plans, across all businesses, on the platform.

Above all, the Enterprise CEO/C-Suite can position its highest priorities, strategies, and initiatives in the primary place on the same one platform—visibly aligning and monitoring all the business and functional drivers accordingly across the entire enterprise at the touch of a finger—in order to optimize execution, agilely capture fleeting opportunities, and nimbly steer clear of sudden threats. In all these scenarios the platform captures in real time information at a strategic level appropriate for senior management and supports any plan methodology.

Enterprise value is unlocked by Tier 1 Enterprise Collaboration Technology, most importantly, when this increased execution performance enables the Enterprise CEO/ C-Suite and their distributed leadership to deliver on their strategic plan. That is because, at its root, delivering strategy for the enterprise can increase the Return on Invested Capital (ROIC), the level of return that has the greatest impact on an enterprise. Just a 1% increase in ROIC often produces hundreds of millions of dollars that can be distributed to stakeholders or applied to capital for greater growth. This new Tier 1 Enterprise Collaboration Technology therefore results in an asymmetrical model, when comparing the cost of the platform versus the great value produced.  It especially drives value through a clear and agile structure at a time when implementation can quickly go off the rails as organizations seek to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.

In addition, Tier 1 Enterprise Collaboration Technology can extend visibility to include not only internal business systems but also external partners essential to successful strategy execution. Increasingly, enterprises are partnering with other companies, or the government, and even with major nonprofits on key initiatives.  It is vital to be able to capture all these elements in the overall ecosystem.

Further, with today’s information overload, senior executives at the Group and Enterprise Level are looking for a single, intuitive, technology platform that can be a gateway to the large numbers of functional, transactional, and analytical systems where major Tier 3 software investments have already been made. What is needed is a single platform that can be an easy integration gateway to information that is strategic in scope to support decision-making across CRM, financial, HR, analytical systems, and so on. By increasing the visibility of these lower-level systems at the strategic level, Tier 1 Enterprise Collaboration Technology greatly increases the value of the existing IT investments in an enterprise.

Finally, significant enterprise value is also unlocked through the huge reduction in repetitive administrative activities— which by definition contribute no added value—as well as through the concomitant increase in the execution performance of value-adding tasks that achieve strategic goals and therefore deliver the highest impact. A significant reduction in repetitive non-value-adding activities for managers and executives—less meeting prep, fewer meetings, and fewer meeting follow-ups —quickly adds up to millions of dollars in savings.

Inspire and Attract Workforce:

The global COVID pandemic, George Floyd and Black Lives Matter movement, which has become the largest human rights/social justice movement in world history, along with the unfolding economic crisis, requires extraordinary enterprise leaders to move forward quickly with honesty and integrity and to seek new ways of addressing the values and desires of today’s knowledge workers.  There is a strong desire to do meaningful work, to make an impact, and to engage with like-minded colleagues in this pursuit.

People want to work for large enterprises for the opportunity to do big things. Large organizations can use their myriad resources to create a positive social impact. Staff want to see how their work and their team contributes to this important work and how their work supports the highest priorities and mission of the enterprise.  They want to be able to connect with colleagues in all areas of the enterprise – all businesses, all staff areas, all countries – to collaborate and achieve great goals.  They want the autonomy to find their own creative path to success while still remaining connected to and supported by senior management.

These aspirations are all strongly enabled by Tier 1 Enterprise Collaboration Technology.  It provides a transparent platform to give proper visibility and a level playing field for a diverse workforce to succeed, grow, and advance.  The technology can also align with a performance management philosophy that is ongoing, supportive, and coaching in orientation.

Instill Trust:

Finally, the current pandemics are creating conflicting responses.  On the one hand, there is an impulse to close off from the world, to protect one’s country.  At the same time, however, there is also the realization that a pandemic by its global nature requires a global coordinated response. In navigating these new waters, global enterprises need to show they are both highly ethical and effective—that they have integrity as corporate citizens and that they bring broad international resources to rapidly deliver at scale.  Additionally they need to do this with a work-from-home workforce that, it now seems clear, will remain a defining aspect of work life even post-COVID.

What most certainly will be part of the answer, in resolving tensions between local and global, will be massively increased transparency and accountability.  Tier 1 Enterprise Collaboration Technology can be put in place to allow the enterprise to dial-up visibility to address this imperative.  It is only through great transparency and accountability that trust can be built and maintained for the enterprise and its stakeholders. 

It has long been a feature of the modern public corporation to have standard accounting practices (GAAP) and systems across all business lines and subsidiaries to view the overall financial health of the enterprise.  However, until recently there has been no analogous standard and system for strategy implementation across all business lines and subsidiaries to view the status and health of plan execution during the course of the year.

Tier 1 Enterprise Collaboration Technology addresses this missing element.  It provides a “Common Currency of Communication” for strategy execution and a fresh, exciting, crowd-sourced, real time, visual expression of the enterprise itself.  It is a platform that embraces the enterprise’s leaders wherever they are working – the office, the home, and the road – and provides a clear, attractive view of how everyone fits in, contributes, and succeeds together.

Robert Epner is Founder & CEO of Chiefofstaff.com, the only Tier 1 Enterprise Collaboration Software that gives top management of large, complex enterprise organizations a single transparent view of the enterprise’s multiple businesses and subunits.  Chiefofstaff.com is being used by global Fortune 100 companies to support current operations and in times of crisis—or opportunity—immediately mobilize required actions. The technology provides full, secure access to anyone involved in decision making, strategy, business transformation, resource allocation, execution or monitoring