Enterprise collaboration hitting its stride

Luis Suarez has a great post on social business as an accelerant to increasing the connectedness, engagement, and productivity of remote workers. It is a great summary of a lot of research and articles that have been getting attention recently. I connected particularly with this thought:

Work happens, indeed, wherever you are, whenever you need, with whatever the tools you have at your disposal, with whoever the connections you may collaborate with in getting the job done. Never before have we been capable of realising that dream of the fully empowered knowledge worker to work virtually in a more than ever distributed world than thanks to the emergence of all of these social networking tools.

Having spent most of my professional life working remotely, either from home, or in an office where all or most of my colleagues and clients are elsewhere, I can say that I’ve definitely felt this shift in connectedness happening. Tools like video conferencing, instant messaging, and team sites have always helped to make working together easier and bridge the distance, but it’s only been recently, with the rapid growth and adoption of enterprise collaboration tools, that I’ve felt a shift in connectedness.

This growing connectedness hasn’t just been with close colleagues either – it’s been across the entire organization, and has really helped to make connections with others that you couldn’t previously collaborate with easily (or even know about their existence, for that matter!). And unlike many KM tools of the past, these new breeds of enterprise collaboration tools don’t require extensive training, or a big sales job of why the end user should participate. They’re intuitive to use out of the gate, and there are many examples that we can point to in order to demonstrate the value that people can immediately start getting from them.  That’s pretty exciting.

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