The Next Generation Teams: Technology Adoption to Eliminate the Boundaries of Space through Building an Integrated Effective Virtual Team Platform

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The revolution of information technology led into more open markets and globalization. This technology revolution and its results put more pressure on corporations and business owners to change their way of thinking and how to manage the ongoing business in order to go with the business flow, survive and increase their revenues. High operational expenses and costs, challenging competition from others and the need to enhance the level of quality to gain more customers were the main motivation factors to come up with the virtual team concept. The concept started by having offshore resources with less operational costs, less salaries as a benefit from the difference of currency exchange rates with larger pool of expertise and skilled resources. In contrast, corporations faced many challenges in managing the resources in virtual teams especially that those resources are not working together and not available in the same place with no face-to-face interactions. This study focused on the effectiveness of virtual teams, benefits of virtual team concept, the comparison with traditional teams along with the key challenge areas that face such type of teams. The key challenges were extracted from a thorough reading and research for related work and were furtherly explored using a survey with an intensive analysis to examine the validity and the level of impact for each challenge area. These challenge areas include: Trust, Technology, Culture, Language and Time-zone. Also, the study contained face-to-face interviews with resources who are currently working in virtual teams and multiple observation sessions as an extra method to confirm the findings. The study found that trust and technology factors have the highest effect on the effectiveness of virtual teams, while language gap factor has the lowest impact on the virtual teams to be effective. Many studies discussed different aspects of virtual teams but it was obvious that many researchers discussed the challenges without suggested practical solutions. This study proposes a novel platform that guides to develop an effective virtual team along with building a prototype for a technology solution “Virtu” which is a unified communication solution that can help resources to work effectively and be capable to do their tasks with less efforts. Virtu focuses on eliminating the resource distraction because of using different technologies to communicate and concentrates more on the task completion and the effective synchronic mutual interactions.
technology adoption, virtual team platform, information technology, globalization