The problem with Enterprise Collaboration: Or Why I lost my Job

In 2007 I saw the light. A better way to work was about to happen, Enterprise Collaboration. A change in organizational behavior, assisted by technology, that would allow people to work together more effectively. I took that turn as my career path, first as an independent consultant, then with Cisco, and finally with Moxie Software. Unfortunately, things did not go as planned. In January of 2014, Moxie dropped Collaboration as a stand-alone product, and let me go as part of that transition. I think that all of us that were (are) working in that area have learned over time that collaboration software as a stand-alone product is a solution looking for a problem.

iStock_000006428830SmallI still believe that organizations need to do a better job of collaborating, but the path to getting there is much different that we thought seven years ago. I just ran across this article in PCWorld
that provides a little more detail. The fact that jumped out for me was:

Gartner predicts that through 2015, 80 percent of social business efforts will not achieve their intended benefits due to inadequate leadership and an overemphasis on technology…

I can attest that this was my experience as well.

The proper model for collaboration technology is to look at it as a feature within other business processes. We can collaborate better around the budget process; we can collaborate better around the hiring process; we can collaborate better around the procurement process; etc. The point is to understand the problem you are trying to solve first THEN look for the best solution, which may happen to include better collaboration…