How Office Automation Encourages Collaboration

By Joan Honig, DocuWare – Before we even dreamed about how technology would enable collaboration in new and exciting ways, Charles Darwin said, “It is the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) that those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed.” Office automation improves access to information and that encourages creative problem-solving. All authorized staff has visibility into business processes that affect their jobs. Employees can look up information themselves rather than contacting someone in another department and interrupting them. This familiarizes them with team roles and responsibilities. With the addition of automated workflow, everyone involved has visibility into each step of a process and knows where it stands.

In a recent report Changing Behaviors: From Working in Silos to Working Collaboratively, Gartner Analyst Christie Struckman notes that “Working collaboratively requires a commitment by individuals and groups to do work in different ways, to make decisions differently, and to give up specialized and single-purpose resources.” She makes the point that creating an atmosphere where collaboration flourishes require a change in mindset as well of the use of technology. It’s about asking people to look beyond the duties outlined in their official job descriptions to consider how they can add value to the organization as a whole.

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