Enterprise collaboration software – the next wave is on the way
by Arnaud Henneville, Feb 2 2015
Have you ever done about anything on your company’s intranet? Neither had we – and that’s how it all started…
The Optimization Wave
The first company Intranets came about in the early 90s and for some 15 years, the world’s corporations embarked onto a mission to organize Information. The idea was ingenious; by centralizing information everyone linked to the nucleus would become more productive. Indeed, finding information would become cost efficient, timely, and as a result employees would become more competitive.
This was all fine back then… because back then only a few organizational pundits held the keys to the means of production. There were Kings and there werepeasants. But the acceleration of technological development led to the democratization of the means of production and with it the experts got submerged by requests and the Intranet – suddenly – got flooded. At that point it took longer time to find relevant content onto one’s internal corporate network than it took for Google’s nascent crawlers to fetch pertinent information. It was so bad that a few (renowned) corporations had to line-up data-mining experts to search for the info one was requesting through the systems. In some cases, searches even had to be completed through the good-old phone. This was the turning point; the point where the Kings had to renounce power.
From ‘computers in series’ we have engendered ‘silos in parallel’
The Value Creation Wave
It is early 2000 and the World has changed: Gone is ‘predictability’. With volatility on the rise, over-segmented markets, explosion of the individual’s voice, organizations needed to radically rethink their approach to ‘Work’. From a mere ‘a cog in the machine’, the employee became the most important asset of the company (perhaps not fully on the balance sheet but that is another debate). And that’s how we entered the 2nd wave – that of Value Creation.
So today we have swapped the old rigid one-way Intranet for the new (and now ‘improved’) social Intranet. In the meeting-rooms of companies across the globe, new pundits have made their vision clear; it’s all about collaboration 2.0, about social recognition programs, about the wikis, the micro-blogs, the enriched profiles, etc. Here goes the reasoning; now that they have every piece of tech to make their voices heard employees ought to like the VP’s latest blog, they ought to share what’s in their heads with the rest of us.
And whilst the rollout frenzy is still very much ‘ON’, the concrete business outcomes are somewhat timid. “It’s still too early to say” claim the 2.0evangelists but when we ask employees around the world; the disconnect between the vision of business value-add through Intranets and the reality of it is painfully obvious.
The problem has somehow shifted. ‘Yes’ key information is at everyone’s fingertips and ‘no’, employees are still not adding tremendous value beyond their own immediate team. In fact, from ‘computers in series’ we have engendered ‘silos in parallel’.
The Next Wave
Now it is time for a new wave and at internaldesk.com our position is clear: A collaboration tool should be ephemeral by design – because projects themselves are. That is why, we have built a Change platform.