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Google Search Queries Identify 'Collaboration' As A Business Objective

In another example of how queries on a search engine identify trends, Google search volume for the term "social collaboration" has grown globally by more than 300% during the past decade, while interest in the term "social innovation" has jumped more than 200%.

Search engine query trends continue to follow the same growth as investments by businesses in budgets for tools and strategies that foster collaboration.

Google teamed up with Raconteur to find out where collaboration fits into the objectives of today's businesses. The study involved surveying senior staff and C-suite executives at 258 North American companies about a range of business concerns from changes that impact profitability to barriers and drivers of innovation, to the most formidable organizational threats they are facing, to the tools they are using to address their challenges. 

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The report identifies real-life examples of collaboration and how it can foster innovation from successful Google for Work customers, but the most interesting finding involves the challenges and who should drive the change.

"Media companies cited geographical separation and the inability to fully use communication technologies as the biggest challenges in creating a more collaborative work culture," according to the study, which also notes that half of those surveyed identified themselves as "Believers," acknowledging they have "adopted new technologies and reworked their business models, but still feel that they are yet to experience the full benefits of transformation."

IT was considered the most crucial of all departments when it comes to tools for collaboration that drives innovation. Some 26% of respondents named IT as the leading department, followed by marketing at 17%. They chose IT because the department has a close relationship with every part of the business and the greatest expertise with the latest technologies.

Although IT drives the charge of change, all departments need to drive processes. Some 20% said planning and decision-making would derive the greatest benefit from collaboration. Other groups named project management at 17%, problem-solving and information gathering/research at 14% each, were also featured high on the list.

Some 73% of respondents agree that their organization would become more successful if employees could collaborate across business units and departments. When asked what changes would have the greatest impact on their organization’s overall profitability, 56% of respondents ranked a collaboration-related measure as No. 1.

The study also outlines ways to create a culture of collaboration within an organization, both big and small. Aside from budget, the most serious threats to organization are the failure to attract enough talent, at 25%; an inability to retain the best talent, at 18%; and concerns about a disengaged workforce, at 14%.

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