Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Five years hence

How do we want to collaborate in 5 years time? What do we do now that we could be doing better then? What aren't we doing now that we should or could be doing then? These are some the questions I posed to a small focus group this morning to help me write a blue print for our Collaboration Improvement Project. This will be in the form of a story - a "day in the life of" - which will describe how someone in the Professional Support Services spends a working day. There are other such vignettes being prepared for academic staff and students. Should be interesting to see how much overlap, or not, there is.

Some great ideas came out. To start with many of them were not about technology, but about changes in culture or changes to business processes. Or just changes.

So, what technology changes do people want? Fewer but more focused and targeted information sources. Few thought that email would still be with us in 5 years time, or if was, it would not be the primary way of communicating. Systems that know who we are (no more logging in), and knew what information we needed, what we were doing, and where we needed to be. Good voice recognition so that we could get rid of keyboards. Ubiquitous desktop video-conferencing. Everything available through one interface - on mobile devices as well as desktops. Electronic paper so we could stop printing. Location and presence awareness on all devices.

None of it rocket science, and most of it already available - but we have a real challenge to get it all rolled out.

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