I find it interesting that when it comes to collaboration; oftentimes it still need to be sold as a line item. I mean, doesn’t that seem a bit ridiculous that a company needs to have someone explain why they need something that can connect their employees together?
Some companies have some type of tool in place and others have nothing but either way it’s still looked at as option that the company may or may not purchase. Perhaps I’m a bit biased or have spent too much time swimming in the collaboration pool but I wonder. What if phones were optional? What if computers and the internet were optional? Mobile devices? What about applications such as Microsoft Office? The reality is that none of these devices, tools, and applications are optional. They are in fact business requirements necessary to operate.
Of course it did take some time for these things to become widespread within organizations but I don’t have any doubt that the same will happen for the new collaborative tools we see today. It’s a natural business evolution that will take place. It might take another 2-3 years or so but it will happen.
I look at these emergent collaborative tools the same way as computers, phones, and the internet. They aren’t options or add-ons that we should be choosing from. It’s not as if we are going to a restaurant and we have the option to add a cup of soup for $2.00. We’re talking about the entree here.
Collaboration tools and strategies should be (and will be) business requirements because we can only survive on “soup” for so long.