Are Your Collaborative IT Solutions Working For YOU?

2010 has been labeled the year of collaboration, with most organizations looking to adopt collaborative knowledge sharing and networking solutions to boost productivity and innovation.

As was briefly mentioned last week, the issue is that out of the box software solutions all to often result in the organization changing the way they work to suit the software’s capabilities rather than tailoring the software to meet the organizations needs.

An impressive example of an organization that did it right is Goodwill Industries.  CIO Steve Bergman recognized that with so many decentralized non-profit operations throughout North America and the World that in order to effectively and economically facilitate a community of best practice he would need to introduce a collaborative technology solution.  He did his due diligence, testing the available corporate software solutions and found that none of them was the right ‘fit’ for what he wanted to use it for.  What her really needed was a system that could easilyadapt and integrate into the ever changing needs of his growing organization without breaking the bank! 

So Bergman changed tack, and found an opensource solution that was nearly what Goodwill needed and worked with the opensource programmers to create the collaboration portal MYGoodwill – a customized system that works for Goodwill Industries to satisfy their requirements and capabilities without causing a major restructure of process or requiring extensive training to operate.

I believe this story illustrates how we need to keep sight of the fact that technology is meant to work for us, satisfy our needs, and that often means customization to get it right.  Just as every person is unique so is every organization and their needs can’t all be satisfied out of the same box.

Watch a video interview with Steve Bergman

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About John

“John Abele is a pioneer and leader in the field of less-invasive medicine, For more than four decades, John has devoted himself to innovation in health care, business and solving social problems.” He is retired Founding Chairman of Boston Scientific Corporation. John holds numerous patents and has published and lectured extensively on the technology of various medical devices and on the technical, social, economic, and political trends and issues affecting healthcare. His major interests are science literacy for children, education, and the process by which new technology is invented, developed, and introduced to society. Current activities include Chair of the FIRST Foundation which works with high school kids to make being science-literate cool and fun, and development of The Kingbridge Centre and Institute, a conferencing institution whose mission is to research, develop, and teach improved methods for interactive conferencing: problem solving, conflict resolution, strategic planning, new methods for learning and generally help groups to become “Collectively intelligent.” He lives with his wife and two dogs in Shelburne, Vermont.”

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