Paul Wilkinson wrote an article on his blog recently entitled ‘What’s the next disruptive idea for collaboration’. Paul’s blog is normally focused around collaboration for the construction industry, but it made me think about collaboration more generally. Below is my reply I posted on Paul’s blog.
Paul, your blog post made me think about the convergence of a number of collaboration technologies that I believe is happening – particularly in the SaaS/Cloud space.
SaaS/Cloud solutions are either established or gaining traction for many specific tasks. For example, the delivery of Document Management (there are many), maps (Google Maps) and communication (email, Yammer and social media), but they are disjointed, and not necessary ‘enterprise’ proof. For example, a project stakeholder may view a project area in Google Maps and then write an email to a colleague whilst trying to describe a location. Or a new stakeholder may try to find a document but he/she may not know the naming convention – and hence spend lots of time or even fail to find what is required.
I believe the convergence of technologies is now going to assist business processes and decision making moving forward. Solutions are coming to market which bring together enterprise document management, enterprise mapping and enterprise communication into a seamless environment. This will enable users to easily find all the documents say in a given spatial location and then reduce the findings via user friendly tags so that they can locate exactly what they want. It is also possible for users to make design changes and attach their comments which are both then included as part of a fully versioned audit history.
In most large projects there are often many stakeholders (both internal and external), access to the latest information is hard, communication is difficult and an overall project audit history is often lacking. I believe it is the above convergence of a range of collaboration technologies (not just document management) which will aid transparency of information, communication and business efficiencies and drive the next round of disruptive change in the collaboration space.