Welcome to the world of collaboration by stealth

Infectious enthusiasm

You know what it's like, some some bright spark from da management decides that "more effective collaboration is needed"? Whose door do they knock on first?

Because it involves software, probably the IT department's. But is IT equipped for the task? And does it want the responsibility? Collaboration is a human process, in essence, so surely the buck stops somewhere else - even if IT provides a number of enabling tools.

Maybe collaboration is better introduced by stealth, a few people at a time. This runs counter to the monolithic system implementation favoured by vendors chasing big bucks. But, in the end, collaboration that spreads virally, because it works, is likely to be more enduring and rewarding to vendors than a failed mass experiment.

But where the heck do you run it? One CIO told us that he is happy for staff to use Facebook because he then doesn't have to worry about scaling his servers to match peak demand.

Others are terrified of users having access to God-knows-what services hosted outside the organisation. Not to mention the nightmare of business information being held all over the show with associated security and recovery implications.

What's the best approach? Take the low IT impact route of having as much as possible hosted by third parties, or get all information and software in-house where you can keep an eye on it? Or is there a middle way of extending existing systems piecemeal?

Some of these issues must bug you. Perhaps you'd care to share your thoughts with other readers. Comment below.

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