Mass Collaboration

Web 2.0 technologies are facilitating extremely powerful global collaborations. Intellectual barriers to entry are now being lowered through the ability to tap into vast networks of expertise outside the four walls of the corporation. The most prevalent of these collaborations involve Web Services, Collective Intelligence, Peer to Peer Networking and Social Networking. As corporations begin to experiment with these technologies, increasing numbers of external resources are being leveraged globally. With over a billion people networked via the Internet, new economic models for value creation are becoming significantly disruptive and changing the competitive landscape.

Some forward looking companies are co- creating products and services and solving mission critical technical challenges by collaborating on a massive scale with customers and other external contributors. As an example, many businesses are using blogs to gain real-time insight into their customer service challenges and to solicit feedback on their latest product releases. Other companies are willing to share their proprietary information with external sources because the value and speed-to-market opportunities far out way the risks. Entire industry structures are being affected by this new self-organizing communication capability. In some instances, organizations such as IBM are able to effectively leverage collaboration technology globally both inside and outside the corporation to form massive knowledge centers. This has already led to improved product development, better customer service, more rapid decision making and generation of vast quantities of reference material.

Collaborative technologies also have the ability to flatten competition by lowering the cost of innovation. Successful examples of mass collaboration technologies at work include projects such as Linux, YouTube, Wikipedia and MySpace. Industries such as Publishing, Music and Software Development have already felt the seismic effects of these new collaborations and this is just the beginning.

As with any major technology innovation, there are winners and losers and experimentation with these new collaboration methods requires significant critical thinking. Over the past 5 years, HBSC has built a consistent track record of helping clients analyze market opportunities and leverage new technologies for competitive advantage



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