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The Case Against Collaboration
Source: InformationWeek

Think twice before loading up your team with that a new social media app or some other snazzy collaboration software.

According to a survey by Kelton research, 38 percent of people dread collaboration, believing it is a waste of time and energy, reports Rob Preston at InformationWeek.

It’s not that the technology doesn’t work as advertised but that it’s often too much work, adding new processes that have no perceived value, at least as employees see it. And managers make it worse by championing the software and cajoling staff members who resist changing their work habits.

“Any personal technology that needs to be ‘driven’ to end-users through relentless training and pestering is going to peter out, especially if that technology adds three steps to what was previously a functional one-step process,” Preston writes.

Of course, sometimes, it just pays to be patient. On average, technology won’t catch on widely in an organization until 15 to 24 months after it’s deployed, according to a recent study by the Corporate Executive Board.

No Need for Information Anarchy
Source: In The Eye of The Storm

Government agencies can do a better job of streamlining access to public information, writes Alan Mather at the "In the Eye of the Storm" blog in the United Kingdom.

The problem is that agencies often duplicate information already posted by other agencies, writes Mather, formerly the chief executive for the United Kingdom’s Cabinet Office, which created the government’s central IT infrastructure, including ukonline.gov.uk and a host of other services.

For example, a Google search turns up more than 300,000 hits for “disability living allowance,” with sources spread across multiple agencies at different levels of government. Agencies would be better off agreeing on a single, definitive source for public information that is in high demand, Mather says.

Mather is definitely not a fan of the more-is-better school of Gov 2.0. “Borrowing content so you can boost the pages on your .gov website is hardly worthwhile,” he writes. “I really have no desire to comparison-shop government content — no one is going to look for the best version of ‘disability living allowance.’ "

Where iPhones Go to Die
Source: CIO

No one should be surprised that many iPhones are damaged by being dropped in the toilet. That scenario has been fodder for low-brow humor for as long as mobile phones have been around. But down an elevator shaft?

That has happened more than once, reports CIO’s Tom Kaneshige, based on an interview with Aaron Cooper at Worth Ave. Group, which insures consumer electronics devices. People drop their iPhones all the time, but a few have had the misfortune of dropping the device just when they step into an elevator — and off it goes.

Another unlikely but true scenario: Someone had their phone in silent mode sitting on a table next to a cat. A message arrived, the phone buzzed, and the cat, surprised, swatted it off the table, breaking the screen.

“We’re seeing more accidents, probably because people are more attached to their iPhones and iPads than ever before,” Cooper told Kaneshige.


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Need More IT Support? Crowdsource It.

The IT department might no longer be your best source for innovative applications. For that, just look to your employees.

That’s the case in many organizations, according to Josh Bernoff and Ted Schadler, authors of the book, “Empowered,” recently published by Harvard Business Review Press. Although it’s a scary prospect at first, this trend could pay off in a wealth of new and affordable solutions, they say. Here is an excerpt.

“Why is this happening? For one thing, they are exposed as consumers to powerful mobile, video, cloud and social technologies. They see Facebook and ask, “Why can’t we do an employee social network?” They make videos of their kids and say, “I could make training videos.” They collaborate in their spare time with fellow volunteers on Google Docs and wonder if their company could use them. Because most of these tools are free or cheap and easy to use, many of your information workers are mastering them right now. We call this trend 'technology populism'.… Whatever you call it, it means that new technologies are creeping into every workplace. Even if the PCs are locked down, personal mobile devices that browse the Web aren’t — so people end up using their own technologies at work all the time.”

 

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