It’s the economy stupid – collaboration ROI

It’s the economy stupid – collaboration ROI

Summary: With today’s news that oil has reached $135 a barrel – a 100% increase in a 12 month period – it’s clear that there are some serious economic challenges ahead.A liter of unleaded in the UK today at 114 pence ($2.


With today’s news that oil has reached $135 a barrel – a 100% increase in a 12 month period – it’s clear that there are some serious economic challenges ahead. A liter of unleaded in the UK today at 114 pence ($2.25) is equal to $8.50 a gallon in the US. This is not a uniquely American issue.

We may be reaching (or have reached) a tipping point in our global economy – oil is a vital component in the computer or device you are reading this on, as well as the fuel in your vehicle or the airplane you may be about to get on.

There has been much talk about informal ground up adoption of enterprise 2.0 by business units, but today’s economic realities may well push international technology collaboration applications to center stage in the enterprise.

VOIP, video conferencing, virtual environments (Second Life style business spaces) and Enterprise 2.0 technologies are likely to be future business saviors for those seeking competitive advantage, as well as helping companies run lean by offering a significant ROI.

Trudging shoeless through security lines for early morning flights is about to get more expensive financially as well as burning more and more valuable time; rapidly maturing online technologies are going to appear significantly more attractive going forward.

Interaction with colleagues is as critical as ever and nothing replaces face to face interaction, but the quality of remote communication, information sharing and workflow is reaching critical mass in terms of competitive advantage in some markets. Travel cost savings are attractive: combining these with greater efficiency makes adopting collaboration technology a no brainer.

However, I would argue that ad hoc adoption of technology without careful planning and integration into existing personnel and partner hierarchies won’t scale longer term. While specific problems may be solved by rapid adoption of appropriate light weight technologies, true collaboration should be the core of the enterprise and not just at the extremities.

Many of today’s various experimental grass roots adoptions, combined with some confusion of utility with social network software (Facebook, ‘super poking’ etc) have created an understandable lack of clarity at an executive level. At this stage there are no clear frameworks or patterns: specific business problems require carefully crafted solutions.

At the other end of the spectrum Oracle, SAP, Microsoft and IBM will continue to thrive but lack the fleet footed ability of the enterprise collaboration solutions.

Those entities who organize workflow intelligently around combining enterprise collaboration with their legacy enterprise class systems will thrive. Federation of applications can also work well, but multiple grassroots silos are likely to be a major management headache on many levels in the future.

Coherent strategic and tactical planning will pay huge dividends in a future world where every penny will count even more than it does today…

Topics: Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Software


Oliver Marks & Associates provides seasoned, technology agnostic independent consulting guidance to companies on effective Digital Enterprise Transformation business strategy, tactics, infrastructure & technology decisions, roll out and enduring use models and management.

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  • There's no oil shortage

    They're having fun raising oil prices.
    • They're having fun raising prices during an oil shortage

      I think speculation and oil company price fixing are [i]adding[/i] to the spike... but whether global oil production is peaking or merely slowing in its growth, it's totally inadequate for the old industrial powers + China + India.
  • RE: It??????s the economy stupid ?????? collaboration ROI

    You're right. Read this:
    • Good link!

      Thanks for that, useful link
    • More on the same
  • ????Conferences -- Collaboration ROI

    I expect one of the next big steps in reducing travel and travel costs while maintaining face-to-face interactions will be local meetings with technology connections between the meetings. We can't afford to fly everywhere, and sitting in front of a computer isn't the same as interacting with peers: but a conference with 2000 people can reasonably be replaced with 20 smaller, more affordable, interconnected local meetings.

    Stephen Cataldo
    Replacing cars with community:
  • RE: It's the economy stupid- collaboration ROI

    We're seeing more and more companies talking to us about "asynchronous meetings" as a way to defer the costs of business travel. They want a place to keep the key conversations going and make them available to the right people without the need to have everyone be there at once from a geographic perspective. The interesting part of that shift is the asynchronous part. A lot of folks are feeling like the conversations don't have to happen in real time. It's less about web meetings and more about the right conversations. That said, video is requested but also from an asynchronous point of view. So, I can turn my webcam on, talk about the issues, post it and have my colleagues respond when they're ready via text or video to keep things moving. Collaboration software is definitely being looked at as a way to defer many of the costs enterprises are facing.
  • Additional business interest in Virtual Worlds,0,2472150.story