In my role as a part-time HR Technology instructor I have been a user and quasi-administrator of a wiki platform called Confluence, a product of the Atlassian company based in Australia. We have used Confluence in the class to organize the course content, share information on assignments, post readings and presentations, and provide the students the opportunity to learn in a more hands-on way, what a common enterprise collaboration tool looks and feels like.
Thousands of organizations use Confluence for wiki collaboration, and there is an active and vibrant developer community surrounding Confluence that continues to produce useful and innovative extensions and enhancements.
Last week I noticed a post on the Confluence corporate blog about the release of 'Mini Confluence', a new mobile client for either the iPhone or the Android, that allows enterprise users of the Confluence wiki and collaboration platform to view and update content, interact with colleagues via status updates, and tailor the interface to keep track of contributions and comments from key colleagues and teams while you are on the go.
For enterprises that have adopted Confluence as their knowledge repository, collaboration platform, or organizational intranet, the ability to deploy a functional and effective mobile application to the iPhone and Android (BlackBerry is also supported via a mobile web interface), further enhances and improves the creation, sharing, and discovery of information and expertise anywhere employees happen to be.
And organizations that do elect to adopt and deploy modern, fast, and highly functional mobile versions of enterprise collaboration tools will likely further strengthen their ability to act, react, and execute on new opportunities and ideas faster and better than their competitors that are stuck in the old dispensation.
So if you are in an organization that has yet to materially embrace new ways of working and new collaborative tools like Confluence and others, it is certainly fair to say that you are behind your competition that likely has done so. But don't forget that while you continue to rely on your tried and true methods (email, private instant messaging, labyrinthine shared network drives), your competition continues to move forward.
It could be that they are not just collaborating and creating more effectively than you are while in the office, they are beating you from wherever they go. And the longer you wait, the gap just keeps getting larger.