Twenty-five years ago, email was the big collaboration buzzword. The transformative technology made it easier for people to work together—and still does today. But, as business technologist Richard Rashty recalls, “Unknown to us practitioners, silos were being formed. If you were not on the email thread, you were out of the conversation.”
The same can be said of intranets and other collaborative technologies. “Just being able to collaborate on documents, projects, send large attachments and instantly communicate,” Rashty continues, “did not fundamentally transform the enterprise to leverage the ‘Collective Intelligence’ of organizations.”
Enter LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites. Here was collaboration’s missing piece—the social aspect—made possible through public profiles, lists of connections and the ability to interact with the people in constant context. People using their personal social networks wanted to have the same experience at work. But, that challenged IT’s demands for privacy, security and compliance around corporate data, users and intellectual property (IP).
The next logical step is what we have today: secure social networking platforms designed for the enterprise. Most analysts agree that these tools will be pervasive in just a few short years, and companies will join in or start losing market share.