Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How Will Collaboration Look in the Future?

If you're like me, you expected flying cars, personal jet-packs, and robot butlers by the year 2012; where are they? Like many predictions of the future, these did not come to pass. I will just keep waiting, and waiting, and waiting.

I read an interesting article recently titled: "Were they right? 25 years ago, science thinkers predicted the world in 2012". The answer to the question, "were they right", is no. They were not right. Most of their predictions were wrong, and were based on the world having about 1 Billion more people than it does today. However, it was interesting to see what people thought would happen in the future.

Another article that I read recently talked about collaboration, and looked at the many technologies that will impact our interactions in the future. This article was called: "The Changing Face of Collaboration - A CIMdata Commentary". Those guys at CIMdata really know their stuff! I should know, I'm one of them.

No matter how cynical you are about what the future holds, you cannot ignore some of the powerful changes that are impacting the way we collaborate. Social and mobile tools are generating tons of valuable information; this value can only be realized with strong data collaboration tools. Companies are being forced to address these issues by social-savvy consumers wielding smart phones, tablets, and other collaboration devices. In the future, companies that rely on PLM to develop products for these consumers will be required to interact in different ways than the standard email tools employed today.

How this will be done in the future is still an open question, but there are many companies working on this today. Nuage is one of those companies, and their approach to collaboration will have an impact on how we interact in the future. I liked the following passage:

"Some companies, such as Nuage (, are offering social computing solutions as their product. This trend is a clear indication of what is to come. As the demand for more natural ways of finding, communicating, and collaborating on product data continues to increase, today’s PLM solution providers need to continue to adjust or they will not be part of the solution, but rather an example of other legacy systems–systems that today’s social media-savvy workers will bypass."

The trend is clear. If you want your business to be around in the future to enjoy flying cars, personal jet-packs, and robot butlers, you must learn how to adopt these new collaboration tools. No one knows exactly what it will be like in the next 25 years, but those who fail to adopt these new technologies will likely be no more than a smudged footnote.

What do you think. Do you have any good predictions for the next 25 years?

Let me know what you think.


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