Enterprise collaboration tools have been mainstream for about a decade now, and portals, intranets and shared workspaces are some of the primary options IT provides to information workers specifically to support collaboration. Some, like Lotus Notes, have been around for quite a while, with newer tools based on Web 2.0 (or Enterprise 2.0) technologies such as wikis, blogs and microblogs providing even more options to promote and support enterprise collaboration, especially the collaborative creation of content. These newer tools have a number of benefits – like a community-oriented paradigm and no software to install – but despite that, none have made a dent in displacing the primary enterprise collaboration tool for information workers: email - the cumbersome, overloaded tool we all love to hate.
There are many reasons for the primacy of email (e.g., ubiquity, familiarity, flexibility, end-user control), but in an enterprise setting, one key reason is that collaboration between information workers is usually in support of a work process. Since email is also the primary tool for ad hoc process execution for information workers, it makes sense that it is also the main tool for collaboration.
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