While Enterprise Collaboration is a journey; let’s not forget that it is used to reach a destination by its drivers. ...When employees face pot holes, gridlock or delays, this does not change a simple fact: they still have a job to get done. Employees are savvy and default to consumer-based alternatives that are free and widely available: Yahoo Instant Messenger, Skype, Dropbox, Tokbox, various Google apps, to name a few. When the corporate network bounces your email for being too large, resend it via hotmail, gmail or Yahoo — no problem. ...
These detours that use consumer-based applications are increasingly widening the divide between ‘enterprise’ and ‘employee’ collaboration. Why would an employee use a corporate system, when the ‘detour’ was a more effective and efficient in getting the job done?
This is a great piece talking on the intersection of Enterprise Collaboration and all these out there in the web collaboration tools. How many Corporate IT departments do know Dropbox? I remember a podium discussion when Dropbox was mentioned and I saw the question mark in some eyes ... Yes, of course there is a conflict between "Corporate" systems and policies and "free and wild" tools out there. But as with private Smart Phones and Tablets knocking on Enterprise door, the Dropboxes of this world do:
These consumer-based tools may not be the company standard or approved and/or deployed systems, but they are reliable, easy to use and can bridge the enterprise collaboration gaps. They may not be optimal for widespread use, but they maintain employee productivity and business continuity in instances where the enterprise system could not. ...
Companies in highly regulated industries frequently block all access to these consumer technologies (and social networking tools). Understandably, business policy strives to minimize potential risk and exposure and these social, collaborative and content tools are high on the hit list.
No, there is no easy answer, what to do. And perhaps it has to be decided case by case.
And I found this pargraph in the article very to the point:
The Forrester report illustrates the gap between Employee and Enterprise Collaboration. They questioned 851 Collaboration Software Decision Makers and the biggest benefit reported was reduced travel cost and improved communications. Let me ask: as you’re at work and sending instant messages, joining a web conference or waiting for that conference call to start — is reducing travel costs top of mind for you? I’m willing to bet if they had asked 851 employees who rely on collaboration tools to get their jobs done, the results would tell a very different and potentially more compelling story.
People want to get their work done easier. This is their motivation in using collaborative tools. And sometimes we as software vendors need to keep this in mind - in terms of usability and individual value for the employee.
Employees are the foundation of any enterprise collaboration initiative. Understanding who they are, what they are trying to accomplish (the outcome) and ensuring that the right tool and the right time for the right person keeps the focus on the employee and not the technology.