September is when we typically think of the learning process beginning, not the time to be graded, but unified communications-as-a-service is still so nascent in many organizations that it may be worth IT departments thinking through how long their journey to true enterprise collaboration will be.
One starting point for that discussion was recently published by the Cloud Best Practices Network (whose CEO and co-founder, Neil McEvoy, has published several posts on expertIP). In an in-depth document dubbed The Enterprise Cloud Maturity Model, he walks through the elements of a repeatable framework designed to help more Canadian business reap the benefits of computing that isn’t merely on-premise.
Although the Enterprise Cloud Maturity Model looks at overall business transformation, DevOps and other areas, there’s an area on UCaaS that encompasses as scale of zero (i.e., very low maturity in enterprise collaboration) and a level four for those at the high end. These are the UCaaS levels in detail:
Zero: Isolated technology stovepipes that prevents agile people collaboration. Email is the primary form of collaboration.
1: Some use of basic collaboration tools like shared drives, encouraging “shadow IT” behaviours
2: Improved collaboration tools like simple social media communities, document sharing and a single address book, but these are still isolated
3: Comprehensive use of realtime UC collaboration tools, expertise directories via social media, private collaboration groups for every project
4: Full app integration (single signon et al) to enable cross-enterprise collaboration and use of highly advanced tools like telepresence and virtual worlds, enabling self-organizing process networks.
I’m sure not many Canadian organizations are at level four today, but the point of these sorts of maturity models are obviously to help identify the markers of true progress. Even if your firm is a zero, that only means there’s lots of opportunity to make better use of collaboration technologies — and emerge as a UCaaS hero.