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Posted by Rob Koplowitz on March 30, 2010
"Super, then you'll have plenty to talk about!"
Greg Marmalard, Animal House
Collaboration and social technologies continue to be hot in 2010. In Forrester's 2009 Enterprise Software Survey, we asked respondents to rate the following on a scale of 1-5:
How important are the following software initiatives in supporting your firm's current business goals?
-Increase deployment and use of collaboration technologies
58% answered 4 or 5. In conversations with clients, it's clear that as we exit the current recession and enter a new economy, firms are betting on knowledge workers to drive competitive differentiation in the same manner that they bet on technology to drive efficiency in the early to mid-90's. The trend is particularly strong in North America and Western Europe where big bets are being made on innovation, design and other differentiation that will derive from more efficient, better connected knowledge workers.
This trend indicates high level, organizational goals and is likely to be more dependent on sociology than technology. The truth of the matter is that firms that have made large investments in collaboration, particularly social technologies, and have not made an accompanying investment in driving organizational and cultural change, have struggled. Why then, the trend toward investments in collaboration technologies?
The answer is that technology will support the efforts in a very significant way. And, in the case of social technologies, 2010 will be a break out year. Why? The market is clearly hungry for solutions and the vendors are poised to deliver.
A nascent, but very significant trend that will drive efficiencies and adoption is the social enablement of existing business processes. A number of vendors are betting on integration to enable social capabilities alongside existing technology investments. This attention to integration will create a major step forward for the Information Workplace which focuses on a highly integrated user experience that pulls content, collaboration, communication and line of business systems together in context for knowledge workers. Why is social so important to the evolution of the Information Workplace? Three reasons:
As 2010 unfolds social technologies will become increasingly positioned by vendors as not only standalone applications, but also as services that can be integrated into a broader Information Workplace. Expect the social vendors to approach this from one of three directions:
Social technologies are proving their value in the enterprise. Enterprises are maturing their implementations. Vendors are making major investments. 2010 will be a defining year in both the maturation of social technologies and the Information Workplace.
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