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Collaboration Trends for 2015

Posted by EddiePrentice on January 6, 2015


It’s that time of year where the blogosphere is full of 2014 reviews and 2015 predictions. I’ve read quite a few of them, some useful, some reassuring and others just plain baffling. In the “useful” category comes a nice 10 minute video prepared by Alan Lepofsky entitled “The State of Collaboration: Trends to Watch 2015”. You’ll get a link to that below but first I would like you to read this post!

Like all good start-of-year bloggers, Alan takes you through his “10 things” for 2015. I’m going to condense his 10 minute video to a 2 minute read, to share what’s relevant for IBM Connections users or those thinking about a new social business platform. 10 things is also a lot to write about so I am just going to home in on four of these trends.

1. Make our tools work harder

As a preliminary, Alan restates the mantra that collaboration is about improving how work gets done. It’s about helping your employees and customers become more productive and engaged. I have seen this for sure in Globocol and also with a number of IBM Connections clients. This social platform works but you (yes YOU!) have to make it work. We have all the tools we need (wikis, docs, file sharing etc.); we don’t need any more. Instead of adding more tools we just need to make our tools do more things. Alan calls this “purposeful collaboration”. A topic for a future blog post.

2. Email isn’t going away … but it IS changing

Email will become much more integrated with collaboration tools. IBM is planning to launch IBM Verse very soon as their response to this trend. They describe this as "mail that understands you.” I like the slogan “imagine email that works for you instead of email that makes you work.” Email is going to become more of a messaging hub than email per se. Looking forward to it IBM!

3. The continued rise of task management

A consequence of the networked world and increased knowledge sharing is that we have way more information to store and access than we ever had before. It’s just too much for most people to handle. Task management software helps people organise the things they need to get done. The IBM Connections Activities app is one such tool and I use it constantly. It’s a great way to streamline repetitive, collaborative tasks.

4. Suite vendors versus best of breed

The collaboration software space has seen the emergence of a huge number of smaller “best of breed” solutions providers who filled in the gaps where the big players (Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, SAP) had something missing. That trend is now under threat – with agile development and cloud-based delivery, suite vendors are able to deliver faster on features than ever before. There are also benefits here in terms of a single user interface and dealing with one supplier for pricing, licencing and product updates. IBM Connections will benefit from this trend.

I’ve left out some big topics (cloud, mobile, analytics) but hey, it’s my blog and I am going to give you a link to the video! Alan Lepofsky's Collaboration Trends 2015 Video