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Don't Compete - Collaborate - New Research

 Wednesday 22 August, 2012

A new report entitled "Collaborate to Win", produced by CFO Research in collaboration with Ariba, takes a fresh look into the current zeitgeist for interactive, networked business - in other words - a corporate world which mirrors the consumer experience. In today’s global business environment, smart companies are learning to collaborate more efficiently - connecting and interacting with ever-expanding communities of customers, suppliers and peers. The new methodology coincides with the rise of new technology  such as cloud computing, mobility and social networks, and to a certain extent cultural acceptance of transparency and the desire for "real time" communications and information.

 “Just as earlier forces such as desktop computers shifted the basis of productivity generation, so too are business networks changing how companies identify and work with all kinds of partners,” says Josh Hyatt, author of the report. “Businesses are learning how to collaborate more efficiently, digitally connecting and cooperating with people and entities both within and beyond the confines of their particular enterprise.”

Much as consumers tap into social networks to manage their personal connections, companies are with increasing frequency connecting to business networks to manage their trading relationships. Through more than a dozen in-depth interviews with executives, academics, consultants, and others, CFO Research sought to analyse how companies are leveraging these networks to gain a competitive edge.

 “Mega-shifts in how technology is delivered, accessed, and used are heralding in a new era of knowledge sharing and collaboration,” says Tim Minahan, Chief Marketing Officer, Ariba. “Empowered by social tools and business networks, companies are now able to coordinate a virtual extraprise of partners into a shared community and execute processes in a more collaborative and informed way than in the past.”

This emerging form of collaboration, according to Hyatt, has the potential to reshape the competitive landscape. “Network-based collaborative tools have just begun to change how employees work together and how enterprises manage their outside relationships,” he writes.”But in an ultracompetitive era populated by lean businesses, collaboration can drive productivity and lift financial performance.”