Smart teams essential for success in the digital age

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Muggie van Staden, MD of open source technology and services provider Obsidian Systems
Muggie van Staden, MD of open source technology and services provider Obsidian Systems

One important – and often overlooked – factor that separates the successful business in today’s fast-paced, ever-changing digital economy from the norm is the ability of the people within the organisation to work together and leverage the available technology.

That’s the view of Muggie van Staden, MD of open source technology and services provider Obsidian Systems, who says it’s essential that smart teamwork – an umbrella term that denotes technically progressive, digitally-driven and data-focused operations – is at the core of every digital business strategy.

“Businesses generally want to use digital transformation to secure and drive competitive advantage. As technology gets smarter and more mundane processes are automated, all of which will allow for better business insights, competitive advantage comes down to how quickly and effectively a company can leverage the potential these advances offer,” he adds.

This requires what Van Staden calls ‘staff connectedness’ and the extent to which employees are able to tap into technology advances – essentially smarter teams.

He points out that the temptation to invest quickly in technologies like cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) is often fuelled not only by the desire to achieve technical agility, but also to reduce costs.

“However, smart teamwork is not about managing cost. It’s about building efficiency through the integration of your systems and processes, saving time and optimising your teams’ productivity. The success of an initiative, concept or strategy is directly linked to the success of projects. This is where smarter teamwork really comes into its own,” he adds.

Van Staden maintains that businesses will achieve success when they have a platform that facilitates simple, real-time and integrated communication, when they are focused on collective goals and results, and when employees are able to contribute to the bigger picture and know their role in the broader company team.

Obsidian Systems designed its SmarterTeams platform as a tool for teams to do just that, integrating its partners’ applications – Atlassian, Agile Craft, Tempo, QA Symphony, Zimbra – with its own expertise.

“Smart teams know where the gaps are and are quickly able to support their peers, they are diverse and bring different thinking to the team and solutions, and are organised. Any business that is able to instil smart teamwork has an advantage over slower counterparts,” Van Staden concludes.

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