Future Enterprise Collaboration to Rely on Enterprise 2.0

by Fredrik Savin on 30/12/2009 · 0 comments

I just came across an interesting article published by Indian Business Standard on the future of enterprise collaboration. According to the article, Gartner reckons that 80% of enterprise collaboration platforms will primarily be based on browser-based Web 2.0 techniques by 2013. These new platforms will also have secondary support for documents. The research and advisory company states that Web 2.0 approaches will become increasingly important as “wiki-like” collaboration techniques gain more acceptance among users.

Subsequently, Gartner believes that managing users’ transition from file-oriented environments to Web 2.0 approaches will pose a major challenge for organisations. The article does also highlight that there are essential differences in terms of working-styles that are file-oriented and document-based and those that are Web 2.0 and browser-based. Gartner states that “understanding and accommodating these differences will be important factors in determining the success of collaboration platform introductions.”

I think it’s worth adding that a platform such as SharePoint MOSS ’07, which is fundamentally file and document-based, already has basic support for Web 2.0 technologies and tools such as blogs, RSS and wikis. It’s also likely that Sharepoint ’10, which is due to be released later on this year, will have increased support for these types of collaborative technologies. This could potentially make the transition for SharePoint users to a collaboration platform that is primarily Web 2.0 based easier. I also think it’s fair to assume that generational differences in e.g. technological competences and preferences will be an important factor in making this transition happen. Read more about today’s “Internet-obsessed” youth here.

Also, I downloaded the beta of Office ’10 from Microsoft’s Web site earlier this week and Outlook ’10 supports integration with social networks (only SharePoint is supported at this stage), which suggest that online-based social tools are becoming increasingly important to users, even in the corporate world.

Gartner also recognizes that Web 2.0 approaches will not take over completely in the future. There will still be situations where working with documents is more suitable. For example, tasks where the final output will be in a file format, e.g. a Word document, are often easier to get done in a document-based environment with check-in and check-out facilities than in a free-form wiki.

Gartner’s findings provide further evidence to support that the future for Enterprise 2.0 is bright. If you’re interested in learning more about Enterprise 2.0, I suggest that you buy Andrew MacAfee’s new book on the subject. You can find five reviews of it here.

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