Do today’s new collaboration tools make it harder for IT to wrangle corporate information, or easier?

Mostly to toot my own horn, there is a piece by Andrew Conry-Murray in Information Week: Holy Web 2.0 Herding Nightmare. I am not a big fan of the title; it makes Web 2.0 sound scary. I am fond of the subtitle: Do today’s new collaboration tools make it harder for IT to wrangle corporate information, or easier? YES.

“Web 2.0 collaboration tools are irresistible to end users: They’re easy to set up and use and can be accessed from anywhere. Employees can upload or create documents, spreadsheets, wikis, and blogs, then invite co-workers and partners to access, edit, and download content. . . . Departments and business units can provision users in minutes, pay with discretionary funds–and never make a single call to IT.”

If you read the story, you will pick up a few quotes from me. If you do not want to read the story, here are my quotes:

Doug Cornelius, a lawyer at [The Firm], relies on PBwiki, a popular provider of online collaboration tools, for a variety of projects. As a member of the law firm’s knowledge management department, Cornelius uses the wiki to manage meetings and agendas and to plan conferences. “It’s tremendous for capturing information,” he says. “Instead of a string of e-mails, you just go in and edit the wiki.”

While the firm also uses SharePoint as an intranet platform, Cornelius wanted to experiment with other options. “We didn’t need anyone from IT to do anything. Training and setup took 30 seconds,” he says. After a year of use, the wiki has more than 100 pages and gets several edits every day. Other departments in the firm are also using the PBwiki service.

“It’s a classic story of enterprise 2.0,” says [The Firm]’s Cornelius. “We’re up and running with PBwiki in 30 seconds, and SharePoint is taking a year.”

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