As Matt Brown wrote earlier this month, video is quickly becoming a core technology component of the workplace experience. Henry Dewing predicted the resurgence of investment in video conferencing from the conference room to the desktop in 2007 based on affordable HD-quality video, more user-friendly interfaces, and better interoperability between systems. We're not yet at the tipping point of widespread adoption, but we're moving there rapidly. And when we do, the primary source — and destination — for video content will be the devices broadly provisioned to employees: the desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones from which employees will create, publish, and interact with video. Consider some of the trends we've seen accelerate over the past six months:
Mobile, social, video, and cloud collaboration services are quickly becoming four technology legs of a stool supporting what I call the workplace experience. Enterprise investment in these technologies continues to outpace the overall IT market.
Yet taken alone, I'd argue these technologies offer little to no competitive advantage to firms.
Why? One reason: Thanks to the likes of Apple, Google, Microsoft,IBM, Cisco, and a broad array of technology suppliers, virtually every company in the world can now access them. Consider the facts:
Cloud collaboration services: Evidence suggests small companies can put these technologies to use faster than their larger counterparts. Basic business collaboration services can now cost less than a daily cup of coffee to run for employees when provisioned via the cloud. What it means: Barriers to use are low.
Enterprise mobile technologies: Individual employees are able to put the latest mobile devices and apps to productive business use faster than their employers can. Our data suggests the most highly mobile (and highly paid) employee segments (33% of the information workforce) already embrace these tools to make themselves more productive from work, from home, and from the road. What it means: Companies have little control over who uses these.
Enterprise social tools: The current adoption barriers social technologies face in enterprises (by the numbers, it truly is dismal) appear to have more to do with cultural ambivalence and organizational complexity than they do with technology complexity. What it means: Many IT shops have overcome the tech complexity and are now scratching their heads on these other factors.