A new report, just published by Butler Group, the European IT research and advisory organization argues that employees spend up to 25 percent of their working day on non-productive, document collaboration related tasks.
The report, Document Collaboration, goes on to say that organizations risk a great deal more than poor business performance by not managing the production of their high value business documents, and that the time has come for document collaboration to move on from simple intracompany collaborative exchanges to more sophisticated intercompany collaborative experiences. Organizations are now looking to extend the reach and range of their document collaboration capabilities in order to support high-value, low-overhead joint ventures and collaborative commercial undertakings, says Richard Edwards, senior research analyst at Butler Group and co-author of the report. However, technology issues, business constraints, and information formats combine to make the job of document collaboration a much more arduous one than it should be. Butler Group maintains that the business value of any collaborative endeavor is embodied within the business value of the end product. In the ultra-competitive new world of work, document collaboration tools and technologies must support, encourage and facilitate high-value interactions in a manner that ensures information confidentiality, integrity and accessibility. says Sue Clarke, the report s co-author and senior research analyst at Butler Group. Documents, in whatever format they may exist, are an integral part of every business and institution, and organizations that cannot manage the production of documents effectively and efficiently risk a great deal more than poor business performance. says Sarah Burnett, senior research analyst at Butler Group and the report s third co-author. Organizations cannot exist without documents, and therefore the efficacy with which documents are created, revised and published should be of utmost importance to business managers. Business managers continue to seek out new means by which that most expensive of all human corporate resources - i.e., the information worker - can become more efficient, effective and productive. At the start of the decade, corporate IT managers were focusing on internal corporate collaboration solutions, content management and Web conferencing products, and as a result the enterprise content management ECM- market sprang forth. Today, however, senior managers are looking for ways to reduce the excessive cost and complexity of high-level business interactions and those scenarios relating to document collaboration in particular. There are many overlapping technologies within the content management market that address the collaborative document production process, and based on figures produced by parent company Datamonitor, Butler Group estimates that the global market for document collaboration solutions will be worth nearly U.S. $800 million by the end of 2010. The analysis presented within Butler Group s report suggests that this is still an immature sector of the software industry, and that new entrants to the market are very likely over the next 12 months. For this very reason, the report contains profiles of over 20 vendors offering ancillary products, technologies and services relevant to this topic. While competition to dominate the collaboration market intensifies among large players such as Microsoft and the ECM vendors, Butler Group believes that disruptive solutions based on peer-to-peer P2P- functionality and new Web-based technologies will force both vendors and organizations to rethink their strategies over the coming year. Sarah Burnett sums up Butler Group s view by saying, Document collaboration functionality will continue to be componentized over the next 24 months, allowing easy integration with line-of-business systems and enterprise applications. In the meantime, however, more standards will emerge to improve collaboration functionality among products. Source: www.dmreview.coma>