Real-time collaboration

Through, I found an interesting white paper from Web-Ex.

While not focused on construction collaboration or extranet technologies, it had some interesting points to make about employing an externally hosted solution.

In passing, I was struck by a new abbreviation. The paper quotes research by the Service and Support Professionals Association and Tech Strategy Partners, which found that, of total IT budget, on average 47% goes towards the total cost of support and management (what Web-Ex abbreviates to TCSM – an interesting, and more specific, variation or sub-set of total cost of ownership, TCO). In other words, almost half of an organisation’s IT budget is spent just keeping current systems running – highlighting the need for organisations to manage their chosen systems as efficiently as possible.

Web-Ex’s white paper looks at most of the familiar criteria used to compare the suitability of web-hosted v. in-house solutions: affordability, availability, scalability, performance, supportability, manageability, compatibility, specialised needs, security, compliance and vendor viability. It concludes:

Most enterprises that have investigated this trade-off have agreed with IDC’s conclusion from its Executive Brief entitled Conferencing through Service Providers for Low Cost and Reliability: “[Real-time collaboration] should drive productivity, not inhibit it. Because running multimedia communications services is not a core competency for most companies, many will find that entrusting this responsibility to someone else is the best way to make sure conferencing features are useful and that business objectives are met. Service providers offer expertise and economies of scale that are not typically available internally.

I have argued much the same kind of thing in my book. Indeed, replace IDC’s references to conferencing with ‘construction collaboration technologies’ and you’d have my argument in a nutshell.

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