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Enterprise IT Groups Need To Share More

The crowd now has the power and IT can no longer dictate how customers interact with a business. Here are tips for joining the sharing revolution.

Build a "community" spirit across your teams
Learn to share the expertise acquired across functional boundaries. Collaborative business models will increase the pressure on development to generate a whole new range of applications, so work together to determine operational shortfalls and how teams are bypassing these. DevOps, with its focus on unifying teams to rapidly produce software products and services, is a great place to start. But don’t stop there. Remember too, that DevOps, like any other body of knowledge (think COBIT, ITIL, Balanced Scorecard), won't necessarily change the world, but it might be the catalyst needed to build a people-centric culture and address problems in areas such as release management.

Learn how to co-create to differentiate your services
New collaborative business models succeed when they maintain thriving peer-to-peer marketplaces and communities around their services. Similarly in IT, we should also look to source innovation externally -- perhaps by securely exposing core applications via APIs to outside development communities who can quickly build additional services around your core business offerings. Get this right and you'll also lessen the load on your overloaded internal development teams.

Get really good at marketing
If success is predicated on open collaboration and co-creation, then we need to make sure that any development ecosystem is constantly nurtured. For example, it's probably pointless releasing a super new API and hoping developers will flock to it. Rather, understand what your development community likes and what can be added to boost their effectiveness and the quality of the services they produce. This can start with good documentation and development portals, but could extend to providing additional support services -- for example, cloud-based application performance management, or complete application development stacks. Finally, consider "buddying" your external community with internal experts to improve the flow of shared knowledge and information.

Not surprisingly, IT's natural position based on years of practice has been to control information assets. The only problem now is that the pace and momentum of collaboration in business threatens to overtake our traditional thinking. Innovators within your company will embrace these new dynamics -- understanding that the business value of IT will increase when people do what comes naturally: share.

There's no single migration path to the next generation of enterprise communications and collaboration systems and services, and Enterprise Connect delivers what you need to evaluate all the options. Register today and learn about the full range of platforms, services, and applications that comprise modern communications and collaboration systems. Register with code MPIWK and save $200 on the entire event and Tuesday-Thursday conference passes or for a free expo pass. It happens March 17-19 in Orlando, Fla.