Survey and Research

Collaborative Tools:Business Applications for Virtual Worlds

To provide insights into how organisations might benefit from computer simulated environments (or virtual worlds), a North American study examined 203 responses from early virtual world adopters. The survey respondents reported frequent use of virtual worlds for recreational use, as well as in the work-place. Respondents used virtual worlds in which individuals interacted with each other in the workplace via avatars (digital representations of themselves) in the following way:



The study reported that within organisations, early adopters  were  more  likely  to  voluntarily  assume the role of technological evangelists (voluntary and enthusiastic champions), whose support and motivation  were  critical  for  the  widespread  adoption of virtual worlds within the organisation. The study suggested that a low cost, low risk strategy for companies was to identify such individuals within their own organisations and allow them to explore business applications for virtual worlds. [11]

Crowdsourcing Profitable for Call Centres

A 2012 Forester survey of contact centres observed that social technologies were growing in importance:

  • 47% of those surveyed used customer communities
  • 39% used social listening technologies, and
  • 42% offered customer service via social sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Crowdsourcing  was  also  reported  to  be  profitable because it:

  • reduced the cost of customer support by up to 60% (in best practices)
  • reduced costs per call from $7 to $15 through call centres down to $3 to $10 per call
  • diverted daily requests to call centres by up to 40%. [12]

Knowledge Sharing Ranked Highly in Jordan

A 2013 study on knowledge sharing involving four Jordanian banks was carried out by the Applied Science Private University in Jordan. The following categories and areas of knowledge sharing (in order of importance) were reported by the 139 managers responding to the survey. All categories were strongly supported as evidenced by the mean values taken from a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 being the highest ranking.
  • knowledge strategy (4.8)
  • knowledge auditing (4.7)
  • knowledge distribution and exchange (4.7)
  • knowledge development (4.63)
  • knowledge filtering (4.58)
  • knowledge creation (4.57)
  • knowledge application (4.5)
  • knowledge storage and representation (4.44)
  • knowledge acquisition (4.27)
  • communities of practice (4.04).[13]

Collaboration Key for R&D

A 2012 McKinsey survey on the subject of Research and Development (R&D) received responses from 1,283 executives representing a range of regions, industries, and company sizes. The following results were reported:
  • 80% believed the best way organisations could position themselves to meet their goals was by establishing satellite units operating and collaborating as a network. (Only 63% of respondents said their R&D organisations presently included satellite organisations.)
  • 38% said that their companies planned to increase off-shoring of their global R&D activities.
  • Less than half of the executives said that their central functions and satellites collaborated very or extremely effectively.
  • Less than one-quarter said that satellite-to-satellite collaboration was very or extremely effective.
  • Collaborative mind-sets and greater transparency on R&D strategy were identified as highly important capabilities for collaboration by a majority of the respondents.
  • 40% said the most significant challenge their R&D organizations faced was their key people being overextended and unavailable. [14]

Collaborative Procurement Encourages Shared Best Practices

A 2011 survey of 32 local government councils in the United Kingdom on the subject of collaborative procurement, provided the following results:

  • 25% stated that collaboration encouraged the sharing of best practices
  • 55% of organisations had a procurement unit led by procurement professional
  • 9% thought an opportunity to gain access to experience and capability lay in collaboration
  • 90% already made use of consortia
  • 77% made use of other public sector framework arrangements
  • 75% identified potential conflicts of priorities between collaboration partners
  • 50% identified a lack of control over their own council’s behaviour as a risk
  • 75% perceived that by not collaborating they risked higher costs, loss of efficiencies, and loss of wider expertise and learning opportunities
  • 50% perceived that by not collaborating created a potential loss of best practice and opportunities for leverage. [15]

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