Life on a desert island certainly has its charms, but for most people it’s not worthwhile. Defoe’s character had no choice: nature imposed “island thinking” on him and he didn’t have the power to escape it. But what does this have to do with the demands for teamwork and collaboration on modern companies?

Island thinking inhibits cooperation

Imagine a company whose employees and departments work together efficiently to meet deadlines, to complete projects successfully, and to achieve long-term customer loyalty. So far, so good in theory. In practice, however, successful collaboration often comes up against an “island mentality.” This mentality encourages silo thinking, which inhibits productivity and blocks the digital transformation per se.


Graphic Collaboration – Source: BITKOM

Departments or business units then turn into information fiefdoms and staff are like Robinson Crusoe: they struggle to collaborate with colleagues; information is missing and nobody knows who to contact in the case of queries; documents aren’t dealt with because the processing and approval status is unclear. Such a scenario is hardly surprising: only 13% of companies in Germany actually use software for joint document processing (source: bitkom Digital Office Index). Last but not least, heterogeneous IT landscapes and software islands that restrict access to essential programs don’t make efficient teamwork any easier.

Heading to new shores – collaborating with ECM

One thing is clear: whatever it is that doesn’t work properly within a particular company location will become really problematic if interaction is needed with the inhabitants of other “islands” (e.g. other locations or departments, customers and partners). While the technical equipment available to Robinson Crusoe was extremely limited, companies today have plenty of opportunities to break loose from silo thinking, for example with our Enterprise Content Management system enaio®.

Causes for the introduction of Collaboration-Tools

Eliminate productivity barriers, increase efficiency

enaio® creates a joint information platform to improve the dovetailing of processes with customers, between individual workstations, across multiple departments, or between different company locations.  Collaboration Management with ECM software enaio® helps you to speed up collaboration and simplify access to information. All processes are archived on an audit-proof basis, regardless of whether the staff involved in the project are working in the office, via the web client, or in Android, iOS, and Windows apps.

“Finding not searching”

enaio® offers you a structured digital filing system in the form of electronic files, which can be used in all sectors.  Instead of generating untold quantities of files with different endings (to clarify the current version and the processing status), enaio® uses reference documents and collections of links. This allows documents to be displayed or referenced in multiple locations, but these documents only actually exist once in the system. Time lost in updating jointly-used documents can now be used more efficiently. The role-based rights system ensures that everyone involved can see or edit the content they need. Each ECM object can also include metadata to instantly display all materials for a particular employee or customer, with a particular status or creation date, and so on. This metadata, as well as notes associated with the documents, also ensures that you can find all the information you need right away.

» Learn more about ECM solutions to improve collaboration: Order the practical guide “Teamwork, what’s up?” now. Our practical guide explains how you can use ECM software to avoid island thinking.