In today’s age of information, the vast array of enterprise communication formats available has rapidly increased to include a several offerings such as instant messaging, social media, blogs and wikis, e-mail and the Web.
Despite this, the need for documentation tools such as proposals, requirements, plans, agreements and reports are still as prevalent as ever within the business world. In addition to this, document collaboration continues to be a core activity of knowledge workers on a day to day basis.
According to Grant O’Connor, regional manager for Adobe System sub-Saharan Africa, knowledge workers are demanding more efficient, effective and secure tools for document collaboration and exchange.
Adobe believes that as IT organisations look to enhance or expand their enterprise collaboration capabilities, they should consider three important trends and their implications.
Collaborators are distributed
Increasingly, business teams consist of collaborators who are distributed across the globe. Some of these workers are also outsourced agents who are employed to assist the enterprise with projects which correlate to their respective areas of expertise.
These teams are no doubt driving the need for improved collaboration tools, with a heavy focus on secure document exchange.
The practice of collaborating on and exchanging documents with workers outside of the company can however be inefficient and causes security concerns. Most companies today will suffer a clear financial consequence if confidential information is leaked.

It is for this reason that IT needs to respond with a document collaboration tool that enables workers to protect their company information, regardless of where and to whom the document travels.
Demand for dynamic documents is growing
Worker’s expectations with regards to documents are changing as quickly as the devices and software used to produce them. Today it is far easier for workers to use new technology to produce rich content which is more able to deliver context around information and to produce more engaging, compelling information. This is fuelling the shift from static documents to dynamic documents.
Dynamic documents are interactive. This means that they include links, buttons and embedded content including images, videos, Web pages and forms.
These documents display and behave as intended across platforms. They are also easy to create, can be shared with others using existing means, can be secured and can be quickly integrated into existing document-based processes or document management systems.
Workers are increasingly looking to frequently create documents which communicate complex processes or concepts. As a result, IT needs to respond with a collaborative platform that allows employees to do this while quickly and easily receiving and processing other rich content.
Efficiency is key
Improving business processes and workforce effectiveness are still some of the most important focuses for senior level executives across a wide range of industry sectors. By standardising on the right productivity applications as a part of the core desktop image, IT can improve productivity and enable knowledge workers to be more efficient in a number of ways.
This includes speeding up content reviews by means of a tool that helps workers to better manage and expedite internal and external reviews to get products to market quicker and increase responsiveness to customers, reuse and reformat content more quickly and efficiently, find information faster and automate common tasks such as corporate Web site updates.
In order to address this, IT will need to work closely with executives to identify productivity gaps within the organisation and subsequently developing applications which meet the needs of workers.
As the needs of modern business mature and grow, so the IT sector should be proactive in increasing the efficiency of document collaboration and creation by enabling more dynamic methods of communication. Primarily, these tools need to be specifically tailored to the needs of the business and must be broad enough to scale across a wide variety of worker needs while delivering a cost effective offering.