Gartner: Collaboration apps need to be adapted

By Lisa Banks, CIO Australia |  Internet, collaboration

IT managers implementing collaborative software such as SharePoint have been warned that simply installing applications out of the box will put strain on relationships throughout the business.

Speaking at the Gartner BI summit in Sydney, analyst Mark Gilbert said social software must be adapted to suit the needs of business functions across the enterprise.

"People are starting to change their perception of how they perceive their market, and SharePoint is a great example of one vendor's offering of driving change through software," Gilbert said.

"If you try to deploy something out of a box, you probably won't have a good result. It's all about teaming the project up with the business to see what they need."

Gilbert said that using SharePoint as a flexible and agile tool is necessary if collaboration is to take place across the enterprise.

"There's literally 15 ways that you could be doing SharePoint in your company right now," he said. "The business drivers have changed for content management over the years...business processes have to be more adapted to business needs."

The popularity of SharePoint has also been driven from the employee level, according to Gilbert.

"People want to use Wikis and blogs. They want simple ways of sharing information, and when people are trying to locate an expert on a topic, they are looking at the social tools to find the right people," he said.

"IT is being used increasingly for blogs and Wikis and Sharepoint is a popular environment for content management."

Gilbert said employees who have embraced social media are part of the group who have led the charge towards the introduction of products like SharePoint.

"These social tools represent a total lack of control. You don't have a relationship with companies like Twitter and Facebook," he said.

"How do you deal with internal social? Content about your business is being put out there. Companies don't have a grasp on those issues as yet."

Using collaborative tools to manage content in the enterprise has evolved, Gilbert said, adding it has moved from being about simply keeping records.

"The perception of what content and management are about has evolved a bit...people are now starting to see it as architecture," he said.

"Even when you're using SharePoint at the enterprise level...a lot of enterprises need to change things in order for this to work."

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