We will have to unlearn what we have learned over the past 33 (!) years. The biggest disaster for Enterprise Social Collaboration happened 33 years ago: in August 1981 exactly. At that moment IBM launched the Personal Computer, aka PC. (Please pay special attention to the word ‘personal’ in PC.)
Personal, as in: “Don’t touch”
By introducing personal computers in the Enterprise management basically told employees: “Here is your personal little corner in the organization. Use it as you like.”. And look how well we did exactly that. We created our personal kingdom that became stronger and stronger over the years resulting in a fortified fortress that we are not willing to give up. After 33 years we are still holding on strongly to our personal computing power and, more importantly, our personal computer storage. Even with the implementation of networks and shared network drives (yes there was a time when PCs worked stand-alone, without being interconnected in any way), even with shared network drives, files were mostly copied to a central location, after being created locally on the PC, to allow others to use them too. Copied, not moved, meaning that the ‘original’ copy remains on the personal computer of the creator.
You’re always member of a Group
Why on earth have we ever given a personal computer to employees when every organization is all about ‘working together’.
Every document in an organization belongs to a group, not to the individual who happened to create it.(1) ‘Group’ as in ‘people working together in the context of’: a business process, a department, a project team, a working group, a committee, a community’. There are more examples of documents that have to be shared with others, than there are examples of documents that are really personal:
- A Request For Proposal (RFP) is part of the Procurement Process
- An Offer is part of the Sales Process
- A Sales Presentation is part of the Sales Process
- An Employee Evaluation Form is part of the Employee Satisfaction Process
- A Expense Note is part of the Expense Process
So here’s the challenge: how can I allow the user to continue his ‘reflex’ of creating a new document on his PC and saving to a folder on his PC, while at the same time obtaining the benefits of saving documents centrally where they can be shared with others?
Microsoft recently announced that the capacity of OneDrive for Business is extended to 1 TB! So here again, the message is: “Dear user, this is all yours, use it as you please.”
Of course people can share documents on their OneDrive with others. But what will be the first thing that these others will do: exactly, they will COPY the file to their own private space. Bye, Bye Sharing!
And so, once again, 33 years after date, Social Collaboration is left in the cold.(2)
(1) Yes of course, I don’t want to publish the draft version of my presentation or Word document before it is sufficiently finished, but that doesn’t mean that it is ok to store ALL files in personal spaces.
(2) Don’t get me wrong: I’m a big fan and intensive user of OneDrive for Business, but it is a killer for Enterprise Social Collaboration…
– firstname.lastname@example.org / @mceev11