Collaboration is a difficult activity for most IT senior managers. Corporate policies, risk algorithms, entrenched mindsets, and lawyers drive managers to be more and more conservative and command-and-control like (e.g., do not expose the corporation unnecessarily). Without experimentation, however, corporations will never discover better tools, processes, innovation, and work environments. Creative and technology-savvy employees will always be stretching the corporation to accommodate the latest and greatest gadgets. CIOs must therefore find delicate balances between piloting, prototyping, researching, and developing versus de facto centralized governance, enterprisewide protections, individual privacies, tool mania, and cool technology infatuations.
Bottom Line: Collaboration efforts are wonderful opportunities for experimentation and business process redesign. CIOs should exploit collaboration technology test beds to better partner with business and general counsel peers.
META Group originally published this article on 23 March 2004.