All good business leaders know that collaboration is a vital ingredient for success, especially in important projects such as strategic planning. But are today's managers fully aware of which tools and technologies can lead their organisations to synergy and success?

That was the question posed by the Association for Information and Image Management's (AIIM) 'Content Collaboration and Processing in a Cloud and Mobile World' study. The survey revealed that while the majority of business leaders recognise the importance of internal staff collaboration, few have really got to grips with the technology to facilitate this.

According to the study, nine out of 10 business leaders believe that collaboration between employees is "crucial or very important" to their organisation, and the same proportion said a formal collaboration system is a "vital piece of infrastructure". Meanwhile, 59 per cent said external collaboration (with customers) is also critical.

However, what is holding these leaders from implementing measures to enhance collaboration?

Technology was found to be the main barrier, with over half of respondents saying the confusing and "rapid convergence of collaboration and social tools" was stymieing their collaborative efforts. 

"Most organisations now have a large ecosystem of collaborators, including external partners and third parties as well as internal staff," explained Doug Miles, director of market intelligence at AIIM.

"But managing the tools required for such collaboration can be a challenge. While IT support for collaboration beyond the firewall has made great advances, organisations appear to be lacking in the support required to really reap the benefits of collaboration."

Fortunately, many business management software packages are becoming more user-friendly to help business leaders boost collaboration, regardless of their level of technical expertise. StrategyBlocks, a cloud-based strategy mapping tool, utilises a highly visual and intuitive platform to allow employees across an organisation to easily participate in its strategic planning.