On 7th August, 1995 Andrew Moreno wrote:
> I haven't seen any demos of Lotus Notes so I haven't got a feel for it's
> interface, but I've read and heard a lot of good things about it in
> various business magazines.
> I guess it could be a great replacement for paper if the user interface
> was really simple and elegant. There would be no paper lying in in/out
> boxes on people's desks and no or very little lag time (it get's round the
> 'system faster.) There is also a procedure built into each form sent.
> I agree that there are more options available for people using this kind
> of groupware. Information that would normally be lost into the "round
> file" can be saved for later perusal which can give people more insight
> into organizational processes/systems and their respective leverage
> I think groupware enabled organizations can outsource the maintenance and
> fine-tuning of these group applications to maintain their strategic focus.
> The purpose of a simple interface is to maintain focus on the goals
> (shared vision) rather than on the interface itself.
I agree with your concept of groupware enabled organisations, I think this
is the next "major" step forward for information systems. However, I have
a small niggle with your statement.
Let's make sure we don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.
"Fine-tuning" and maintenance of groupware SYSTEMS can certainly be
outsourced. However, the groupware APPLICATIONS is the important bit from
a business perspective. They support the way people work to solve
problems, both as individuals and collaboratively. Groupware applications
support the formal and informal information flows in an organisation, and
are likely to CHANGE to meet the requirements of the individual and the
situation. Therefore, these groupware applications MUST NOT be outsourced,
the individuals and groups must have full access to rebuild and customise
their applications to meet their requirements. These changes need to be
performed as the individuals require the changes, not 6-12 months later
when a new contract has been negotiated. In this manner, their business
will attain, and maintain a competitive advantage.
Finally, groupware applications will (should?) act like a corporate
memory. Do you *really* want to outsource your corporate memory?
(Outsource the groupware system, NOT the applications and information).
Unfortunately, today's groupware systems can't achieve ALL of this today,
but we're working on it ;->
-- John O'Neill DSTO C3 Research Centre, Australia "John O'Neill" <email@example.com>