It may well just be me, but there seems to be more and more going on online about the issues caused by poor working practices around collaboration, in particular around documents.
This is interesting as it follows a presumption a few years back that, with Google Apps and new versions of Office, these problems were set to disappear. As always, technology implementation without good change management has led to problems for some and what seems to have instead emerged are a complicated picture where:
- Some companies have failed to adopt new technology. The imminent death of XP may drive laggards into reviewing practices and supporting improvements through tech. For now, people are continuing to face challenges and wasting time due to inefficient IT.
- Some have adopted office solutions, badly. I am increasingly of the belief that what is needed is ‘possibilities’ training in the tech sphere. There is no point throwing people in to hours of, say, Excel saying training when what they actually need is for someone to look at what they do and offer possibilities for improvements. For example, I wonder what percentage of the world’s population uses Excel everyday but do not know Macros even exist, never mind how to author them. Sitting down with someone to spot where efficiencies can be made and identify the small differences in application understanding can, ultimately, add up to big efficiency savings. This works across the board, for example I often sat down with people to show them how to do something with learning management systems only to end up asking ‘why do you do that?’ about how people operate in Office and other software.
- Some feel the need to look further afield. I guess the outstanding question is if Office, Google and other major players are actually what you need. The video above is a nice example of the problems identified by a company looking at alternatives whilst the likes of Huddle offer what can be seen as simpler but more effective solutions.
It is then of interest to see iCloud finally step up to the plate and potentially try to fill the enterprise-sized gaps in Apple’s offerings.