Business collaboration has entered a new phase with enterprise social networking, as collaboration grows in importance for knowledge work, effective collaboration has become extremely important for business success however it still remains challenging as ad hoc teams working across time, geography, language & technical boundaries increasingly drive knowledge work.

What will enterprise collaboration look like in few years; here are some of my thoughts;

1. E-mails will fall by the wayside just as letters.

You may have already noticed that your email inbox contains very few personal messages anymore.  It has a lot of marketing newsletters from banks,  insurance, e-commerce portals, etc., all of the electronic correspondence has gone elsewhere, you may be receiving more private messages at Facebook, Twitter, SMSes, IM’s, etc. than you do on your personal emails. Similarly your organization’s private social network will virtually eliminate the need for email in the future.

2. Rise of social technologies

Social technologies will be more embedded within business applications with deeper integration’s to traditional or legacy software’s providing simple & quick access to information across enterprise tools. Social technologies will enable rise in virtual teams; businesses will realize how much money is saved with employees working from home. Virtual teams allow for more selectiveness when building the team, as location will no longer be a factor. 

3. Mobility

Mobile phones are increasingly becoming multi-purpose & are now so central to most people’s work and personal lives that they simply cannot live without them. Enterprises will enable the use of mobile technologies to empower anytime anywhere information access to employees, customers & suppliers bringing in improvements in revenue, employee productivity/performance & customer satisfaction.

Forrester states that “64% of firms are already expanding their mobility support in response to the demands of their staff”. As the IT landscape evolves, companies that embrace the social technologies & enterprise mobility will be better equipped to lead the growth & future of the organization. 

4. Gamification

Gamification will be applied in enterprises to improve employee engagement, knowledge capture & meet targets by tapping in the human characteristics of motivation. Gamification has a huge potential to help increase performance. Gartner and Constellation Research provide a glimpse into the next two years below:

  • 50%+ of all social business initiatives will include an enterprise Gamification component by 2013 (Constellation Research)
  • 70%+ of the 2,000 largest global companies will use Gamification for at least one aspect of their organization by 2014 (Gartner)
  • 50% of companies that manage innovation processes will gamify those processes by 2015 (Gartner)

5. Cloud based applications

There will be cloud based apps for just about everything, your entire organization will be automated for you, users will be empowered with anytime, anywhere access. IT heads will be less worried for not having to deal with installation, maintenance, management & only pay for the resources used.

What do you think the future holds for enterprise collaboration few years from now?