The Collaborative Enterprise: A Focus on People-centric Collaboration

Back in 2000, my colleague Greg Gorbach introduced a Collaborative Management Model (CMM) to help companies think through the interdependencies among a company’s various departments and locations, as well as partner networks, when seeking to leverage internet technologies to enhance their competitive position in the market.  At the time, the big payoff from collaboration came from integrating systems and business processes across business functions.

ARC's Collaborative Management Model (Source: ARC Advisory Group; click to enlarge)

ARC's Collaborative Management Model (Source: ARC Advisory Group; click to enlarge)

In an updated report on CMM, Greg writes “New collaboration technologies are once again changing the game. Companies are using Web 2.0 technologies to improve information sharing, decision making, and performance, leading to better business results, more innovation, and more opportunities. Virtual workspaces, wikis, blogs, web meeting, presence indication, instant messaging, and other collaborative tools can help people find new ways to work together to solve problems or achieve goals. Today, many of these tools are used in an ad hoc, experimental way, and companies realize that there are good reasons to move to a more strategic, enterprise-wide, and more supportable implementation of collaboration technologies.”

(Quick aside: For related postings on Web 2.0 and supply chain, see “Facebook in Supply Chain Management” and “Supply Chain Twitter”).

New Collaboration Technologies Are Proliferating, Along with Security, Support, and Management Control Headaches (Source: ARC Advisory Group; click to enlarge)

New Collaboration Technologies Are Proliferating, Along with Security, Support, and Management Control Headaches (Source: ARC Advisory Group; click to enlarge)

Greg goes on to say, “[Whereas] the first wave of collaboration focused largely on application integration, the current wave is all about people-centric collaboration: enabling teamwork, innovation, and connectivity.  Every company has many potential opportunities to benefit from improved collaboration. Every project and every initiative has a collaborative dimension.”

In addition, recent macro trends make the new collaboration tools increasingly relevant.

Source: ARC Advisory Group (click to enlarge)

Source: ARC Advisory Group (click to enlarge)

However, as Greg points out, “while examining transformational trends is informative, the challenge is to decide specifically what your business should do about them.”

To best leverage these new collaboration tools, Greg writes, “requires understanding the potential benefits of collaboration, familiarity with the new technologies, and attention to organizational, cultural, and change management issues.” Greg’s new ARC Strategic Report, “The Collaborative Enterprise” (available to ARC clients only), provides an overview of the changing collaboration landscape and a framework for industrial companies to improve business performance through better collaboration.

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