Watching the political discussions these days it seems that everyone is fighting to be the “agent of change”, but in the collaboration world is “change” always good? Or should we perhaps consider that some folks just don’t want to change?
Yeah, it’s probably a pretty poor analogy to tie the political landscape into collaboration, but one of the key issues that collaboration managers continually face is an “unwillingness” to change, perhaps the exact opposite of what we’re seeing as the driving issue in politics right now. Many collaboration (and arguably many other application) efforts have failed because they required too much change on the part of users. Let’s face it, when it comes to how people communicate and collaborate, change is often disruptive, leading to frustration from increased communication complexity and lost productivity.
Let’s look at e-mail for example. For year’s we’ve heard of the evils of e-mail as a collaboration medium. But year after year we continually find that e-mail remains the main collaboration tool for most workers? Why? Familiarity perhaps? Ease of use? A resistance to change? I still think that one can argue that e-mail is still the easiest way to exchange ideas, information, files, and notes.
This continued reliance on e-mail is a reason that a new start-up called Kryptiva caught my eye. Rather than attempt to replace e-mail as a collaboration tool, Kryptiva embraces it. Kryptiva works by installing links to collaboration applications such as file sharing, instant messaging, and web conferencing directly in your e-mail system. Want to collaborate on a file? Simply e-mail it to your colleagues and mark it as a shared file. Any changes that one makes to the file are propagated to the in-boxes of other recipients. Want to set up a web conference? Simply e-mail other participants and use Kryptiva to set up an invite. Want to chat? Simply e-mail those who you wish to chat with and invite them to join a chat session.
Kryptiva is still pretty raw, it only supports Outlook 2003 at the moment (though other system support is planned), and there’s no way yet to pre-schedule meetings. Still, it’s a novel idea to see someone actually try to embrace and extend e-mail rather than replace it.
Whether or not this approach wins votes in the early primary states remains to be seen.
5 Top Federal Initiatives For 2015As InformationWeek Government readers were busy firming up their fiscal year 2015 budgets, we asked them to rate more than 30 IT initiatives in terms of importance and current leadership focus. No surprise, among more than 30 options, security is No. 1. After that, things get less predictable.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.