Collaboration Information Systems | 5 mins read

Everything You Need to Know About Collaboration Information Systems

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Lauren Christiansen

By Lauren Christiansen

What are Collaboration Information Systems?

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One of the biggest challenges is ensuring employees can work together to finish tasks on time. This is especially critical in an era where remote work is approaching the norm. Team members need to connect with coworkers and share data, regardless of whether they are on or off-site.

Thankfully, technological advancement has made this inevitable. With information systems, emails and phone calls are the last-resort means to communicate. Without ever speaking, dozens of members across the supply chain can work together on a project. Information systems make this possible.

Information systems hold and maintain data that employees (users) extract and share to complete a process. If properly coded, an IS follows a strict set of rules to meet the customized needs of a specific user. This allows each employee to access the data applicable to his/her role to finish an assignment.

After one portion of the project is complete, the next assigned user can immediately view updates in the system to begin on the next portion. Due to these effective data management capabilities, employees can collaborate and communicate much faster. It also streamlines the completion of business processes across the supply chain. Read ahead for more insight on collaboration systems and how they benefit an organization.

The Importance of Collaboration Information Systems in Business

Collaboration systems are a type of information system that is very common in the business world. Many departments need to interact with the same set of data for different reasons. For example, an HR manager views timesheet data to send out checks to customers, while a supervisor views the same data to review employee performance. While the way the data appears to a user varies depending on the business unit, it is still the same information.

This is the beauty of a good collaboration system. It holds large quantities of information but still customizes it so each person across the supply chain can do his/her job. Read ahead for the other top benefits of collaboration systems.

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1. Collaboration Information System Assists Content Sharing

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Team members require the support of an information system to manage and upload content. Employees need to share both project information to receive feedback. A good collaboration system facilitates this process. Older approaches to content sharing included emails with attachments or using a computer that stores files. Unfortunately, not everyone sees an email promptly, and file servers don't have good controls in place.

Good collaboration systems eliminate this problem with a feature called version control. Version control is a process that customizes, limits, and directs user activity. Users need special permissions to view or share information or can manage workflows in a predefined set of steps. Other functionality includes version histories, which generate history on behalf of each employee. This enables the next user to see the activity of the previous user, and so on.

2. Collaboration Information Systems Minimizes Inefficiencies

Collaboration systems improve the efficiency of a business unit, as well as cross-department teamwork. Employees can directly contact one another through an instant messaging platform, which is pre-built into the information system. Furthermore, all data is immediately updated, so each worker is viewing the most accurate information.

This ensures all teams can work together on the latest data rather than outdated data. Managers can also track deadlines for each individual who is assigned to a task. This maximizes accountability and productivity. As a result, there are fewer errors and greater efficiency across the supply chain.

  • Chatbots save a company up to $79 million per year
  • 64% of employees are more willing to trust a robot over a manager
  • 53% of employees believe collaborative apps improve morale
  • 86% of employees believe automated tools help them complete more projects in less time

3. Collaboration Information Systems Improve Customer Relationships

A collaborative information system optimizes customer relationships. For example, a manager can easily log into the system to view each team member's status on an assigned project. This ensures a project is completed in the promised amount of time, which makes customers happier.

Some systems also allow customers to view certain portions of data relevant to their needs, such as delivery times. This keeps customers informed and creates less work for employees, who no longer need to field as many customer questions. Finally, customers can receive regular updates through some information systems. They can know everything from future deadlines to current deadlines to the assigned employee on a project.

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Components of a Collaboration Information System

Just like any other information system, a collaboration system has 5 components. Each component must work properly for the others to function. Employees must be well trained, hardware should be taken care of and stored properly, and all data must be high-quality. As long as the collaborative software is coded correctly to align with business needs, employees and customers will derive the most benefit. Here are the key details on these 5 components-

  • Hardware - All of the physical components of any technology system used. This includes computers, keyboards, flash drives, company smartphones, etc.
  • Software - Various programs and applications are required to input, process, store, and control all activities of the collaboration system.
  • Data - Contains project data and project metadata. Project data is any information that is part of a collaborative business process. Project metadata is any information that is used to monitor and manage the business process. The latter may include schedules, deadlines, or budgets.
  • Procedures - All of the policies and rules that govern the information system. These are coded and predetermined during a BPM initiative (business process management).
  • People - All of the individuals who interact with the collaboration system. This may be employees, managers, vendors, customers, and other stakeholders.

Key Takeaways for Collaboration Information Systems

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In conclusion, here are the benefits and components of a collaboration system -

  • A collaboration system enables content sharing, minimizes inefficiencies, and improves customer relationships.
  • Collaboration systems are composed of 5 components. These are hardware, software, data (project data and project metadata), procedures, and people.

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