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Posted by Ted Schadler on October 22, 2011
My colleague Gene Leganza has pulled off a consumerization coup for enterprise architects (EAs) and those who work with them. EAs must wrestle with the best way to harness the innovation of HEROes -- highly empowered and resourceful operatives (the protagonist of our book Empowered) -- while protecting the long-term interests and technology strategy of your company. To do so, they need to assess and come up with a strategy for the major consumer technologies coming in through the employee door.
Gene has done a real service to categorize and deliver a strategic assessment on the most important consumerization technologies, including business collaboration, file sync, tablets, and self-service business intelligence. He did this using Forrester's TechRadar methodology in a report titled, "TechRadar For Enterprise Architect Professionals: Technologies For Empowered Employees: Q4 2011." For content & collaboration professionals, this TechRadar includes an assessment of business collaboration, a category fueled by employee-purchased technologies such as Google Docs, Smartsheets.com, and Huddle.
Technology: Approaches to collaboration are blurring technology boundaries. The business collaboration technology in this report subsumes three distinct usage scenarios. In addition, four of the other technologies we assess — file synching and sharing, innovation management/ideation platforms, public social media, and videoconferencing — could be considered forms of collaboration. Traditional enterprise collaboration is merging with social media, mobility technologies, video technologies, and even enterprise business process management (BPM) technologies as enterprises experiment with ways to harness employee knowledge and vendors scramble to find lucrative niches or market all-encompassing solutions.
Assessment: Significant success. The moderate success that enterprises have experienced to date will increase as organizations finally give up email as the primary vehicle for communication and collaboration. Various forces will conspire to drive workers to collaboration platforms: mobility (and new mobile devices), social media adoption, demographic changes, and evolving technology will combine to increase use of collaboration platforms for specific usage scenarios as oversaturated inboxes become too cumbersome as a one-size-fits-all communication system.
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