Think of your internal communication software a bit like an old coat and chat enabled collaboration as the new jacket you really want to buy. In 2015 we saw a surge away from email and in 2016, we’ll continue to see a drive to implement real-time digital tools such as messaging and voice applications.

Business and technology leaders are increasingly looking to bring chat and messaging systems to the centre of their collaboration strategy; a concept that is now widely being referred to as CEC – Chat Enabled Collaboration.

CEC tools allow teams to work in a real-time environment combining multiple, dispersed communication channels within a firm into one digitally-enabled workplace. In contrast to traditional Email systems, CEC applications enable synchronous, autonomous and real-time sharing of information and knowledge.

However, increasingly people want to use tools they’re familiar with and are easy to use in and outside of the workplace. A large amount of employees are hence using consumer CEC apps, such as WhatsApp, or social CEC tools, such as FB@Work, to share business critical and sensitive information instead of enterprise specific messaging platforms.

The major problem for businesses is that consumer apps simply aren’t sophisticated enough to comply with security regulations laid down by IT departments, but employees still use them because they’re familiar, easy to use and available at the click of a button on their mobile or tablet devices, usually for free.

In a situation like this, it is down to organisations to be proactive and implement business specific platforms that incorporate the functionality of consumer apps but are fit for the security conscious, integrated and compliant.

It is relatively simple; if organisations want employees to adopt their approved platforms, they need to make them readily available. Users want real-time communication that sees instant collaboration integrated into everyday working procedures and to be able to share information and files instantly.

As the world becomes more digital and tech-savvy, the traditional office as we know it is evolving and the processes inside it must adapt to meet the virtual requirements of the workforce. All a person needs to competently work these days is a mobile device or laptop with access to the internet. If an organisation can provide them with further business tools that blend real-time messaging, file sharing etc. all condensed into a single view and integrated with internal systems – across an entire team – there really is no limit. Being agile isn’t a trend, it is a business imperative.

Chat Enabled collaboration solutions are exactly that and mark the ascend of a new category just like CRM and ERP – to push your company forward.